Wallabies, All Blacks stars want South Africa out
The Wallabies and All Blacks are mortal enemies on the rugby field but with the game's future in doubt players from the rival nations have held talks to discuss their desired competition for the future.
Nine News can exclusively reveal a contingent of Aussie players, led by Wallabies captain Michael Hooper was involved in a phone hook up with their Kiwi counterparts including newly appointed All Blacks captain Sam Cane.
The player representatives floated ideas for what Super Rugby may look like moving forward, with the current format under severe pressure to remain relevant, particularly in Australia.
The group unanimously agreed that the competition as it stands – including Australian, New Zealand, South African, Japanese and Argentinian franchises – is no longer viable.
It's a belief widely agreed upon by rugby fans in Australia, and they can take satisfaction from the knowledge the stars of the game are with them on that point.
A Trans-Tasman competition, involving the existing nine franchises from each country along with the re-introduction of the Western Force, is the format the players want to see.
They'd be willing to welcome a Pacific Island team to the fold in a move that would likely delight World Rugby.
One thing standing in the way of that idea becoming a reality is the fact South Africa and New Zealand are believed to have already signed broadcast deals beyond 2020 under the current Super Rugby format.
Rugby Australia Interim CEO Rob Clarke said today talks for a broadcast deal to get rugby back up and running this year is moving along promisingly.
"We had very fruitful discussions with our current broadcast partners, Fox Sports, this week about how the balance of this year looks" Clarke revealed.
"I'm confident we will get some clarity within a week or two, given that we're trying to kick off a Super Rugby season domestically on the 3rd and 4th of July."
That competition is likely to involve the four current Australian Super Rugby franchises and re-introducing the dumped Western Force.