Super Rugby set for further expansion?
February 19, 2012
Could the USA be set for an introduction to Super Rugby? © Getty Images
Greg Peters, the SANZAR chief executive, has admitted that the possibility exists for Super Rugby to expand into Japan and the United States of America.
The tournament - currently contested by franchises from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa - will be subject to a new television deal in 2016 and organisers are seeking to tap into new markets.
With Sevens' admission into the Olympics coming in the same year, reports suggest that SANZAR is keen to capitalise on the growth of rugby in new regions.
The conference system would allow new teams to drop in with little fuss, although there appears to be little scope for a proposed sixth South African side.
''From broadcast revenue and commercial revenue perspectives, there are some very big markets out there that are potential markets that SANZAR might want to explore on the back of the growing impact of Sevens and the Olympics,'' Peters told The Sydney Morning Herald.
''There are absolutely possibilities within the States and Japan for increased television revenue and a lot of that has to do with Sevens being in the 2016 Olympics.
''I don't think anything is off the table at all post-2015, and, particularly with the conference format, you can add other conferences or teams to the current conferences. There are lots of different things that can be done with the format.
''I don't think anyone, particularly in New Zealand or South Africa, would want to see more weeks of rugby. So it's how you structure what you have got into those weeks. We always have to remember that we do this for what's in the best interests of rugby and commercial revenue for the three SANZAR countries.''
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September