After just one year the dream of a nationwide rugby competition is over.
|Matt Carroll: Looks to rugby’s future [GALLO/GETTY]|
The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) have argued the annual Super 14 and Tri-Nations rugby competitions could be reinvigorated by introducing Argentina.
Argentina, who finished third at this year’s World Cup, are seeking more regular test matches with the top tier nations, and ARU deputy chief executive Matt Carroll said their inclusion could help boost the competition.
“Does the Tri-Nations need freshening up? Yes it does,” Carroll said.
“Could Argentina provide that freshness? Quite possibly yes. What have we got to do? Make sure that the Argentineans have their best players so we’ve got to find a solution for that.”
Carroll said he had met with Argentine officials at the International Rugby Board conference in England earlier this month about where the future of the Pumas lay and said the key could be a composite Super 14 side made of Argentine, Australian and Pacific Island players, based in Melbourne.
“Their (Argentina’s) initial solution was to play in Europe but they’ve been rebuffed,” said Carroll.
“You want Argentina to come into the Tri-Nations, you’ve got to get Argentine players somehow, whether it’s with additional teams which could be the key, into the Super 14.
“Then they’re playing at the same time as us and their players can be released to play for Argentina when we’re playing the Tri-Nations.”
Organisers of the Tri-Nations are thinking about the future of the competition as the current broadcasting agreement with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is due to expire at the conclusion of the 2010 season.
“Unless we have strong competitions in the southern hemisphere, both in terms of quality rugby and strong financially, then we won’t be able to retain our players,” added Carroll.
“It is making sure Super 14 is powering along, making it an attractive competition.
“(If it) keeps the players, generates money, you can pay the players their salaries.”