Rugby fans during Super Hero Sunday at Cape Town Stadium. File photo: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES​
Rugby fans during Super Hero Sunday at Cape Town Stadium. File photo: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES​

Details of a reshaped‚ derby-heavy Super Rugby competition may emerge by the end of the week if New Zealand rugby bosses have their way.

Mark Robinson‚ New Zealand Rugby’s CEO revealed the plans on Sky Sport’s The Breakdown show on Tuesday. Super Rugby was suspended for two weeks on Saturday after the New Zealand government’s decision to place mandatory restrictions on people entering the country.

“Now we’ve got everybody [the Highlanders are in quarantine after returning from Argentina] home the attention shifts to how we can make the best of this situation‚” Robinson said.

“It’s been clear that we’ve paused for two weeks and we’re excited about what we’re starting to develop with our Super clubs‚ with Sky obviously heavily involved in some of the discussion we’re having around what alternative products might look like.

“This is a process that is complex and detailed and we have to make sure we take people with us and go through all the permutations.

“We’d like to think by the end of the week we’re in a situation to share more detail‚” he was quoted as saying.

He said they had had great ideas and feedback from the franchises.

“Not only what it might look like on the field‚ with some potential innovations in that space‚ but also a wide range of thinking about how we make the best of the situation to help drive revenue and provide something different in this market‚ because we know that people are going to be interested.

“There’s a lot of restrictions around what people can do at the moment so we’re mindful about what our fans want and this is a fresh opportunity and we’ve got to take the positive from it and make something exciting from it.”

New Zealand and Australia are under pressure to resume Super Rugby as they are likely to suffer huge losses should the tournament be suspended indefinitely.

It is understood Sanzaar officials have been involved in conference calls since Saturday in an attempt to find the most viable solution. With travel restrictions in place playing derby matches that were scheduled for later in the season is now widely considered as the best way of keeping the pot boiling.

New Zealand’s five franchises could in the interim play off against each other starting with the Crusaders against the Hurricanes‚ while the Sunwolves‚ who are already in Australia‚ playing matches in that conference.

The Jaguares will have to base themselves in SA if the plan is to come to fruition.

SA Rugby would not comment on the speculation and referred queries to Sanzaar.

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