U.S. Still Had Outside Chance of Getting Super Rugby Side

Posted: May 2, 2014 at 8:54 pm

New Zealand Rugby Union boss Steve Tew open to US based Super Rugby team

New Zealand Rugby Union boss Steve Tew open to US based Super Rugby team

Professional rugby in the U.S. has always been pointed to as the next step to really help the game grow domestically and it was announced earlier this week that Super Rugby could have an expansion team on the west coast for the 2016 campaign.

Super Rugby is the top provincial league in the southern hemisphere with teams from South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.  The league agreed at a meeting this week to expand from 15 to 18 teams by 2016 and to re-organize the current structure.

New Zealand rugby union CEO Steve Tew said there was interest from Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan in addition to a US team based on the west coast.

But the reality is that the U.S., largely due to the travel distances, is still a long-shot.

“Our strong preference is for the 18th team to come from Asia as we believe this will attract significant commercial opportunities for us in the future,” Australia Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver said at the meeting.

A decision is set to be made by next year.

The other changes to Super Rugby will see an addition of another South African side as well as a team from Argentina.  The Australian and New Zealand Conferences will remain in their existing format but each team will now play every team from the other conference.

Do you think the U.S. should be pushing for a team in Super Rugby?  Or is it ridiculous for a U.S. team in a southern hemisphere domestic league?

  • nicos

    Getting into the Super Rugby is not the right choice for US Rugby as welle as for Super Rugby. A single US pro team would be a shame. The US deserve an own league (a North Am with the Canadians) starting with 8 teams (6 US and 2 Cnds). Super rugby should pick a Japanese club that will draw higher TV rights.
    US should try to launch a pro league on an original mmodel with teams where a minimum assistance could be expected (CAL * 2, NY, Brit Col., Toronto, Philadelphia, Dallas,…)

  • rugbyfanatic

    The US should pair up with either Canada or Japan and enter a team in the Super Rugby league but they should be based either in NZ or Australia. It would be top competition for the most talented Americans who are committed to a professional rugby career. If the US combined with Canada or Japan or maybe both there would be enough depth to be competitive over the long season and at the same time be able to develop their elite players.

  • http://Ifitsaysvdreamarkitexanywhere,it'sme vdreamarkitex – fledging american rugby aficionado

    The US absolutely should make any attempt to join Super Rugby; however, the team would have to be based in Hawaii or American Samoa. All of the games would need to be based there as well, at least in the early years. The traveling distance issue is something many other parts of the world simply do not have to deal with as readily as Americans have to, even within our domestic sports. Add to that the fact that much of the travel would be over open ocean with very few places to divert to in an emergency, you can understand the hesitation to include us. Still, there is massive opportunity that is just starting to pick up real ground swell in the US regarding rugby, and it would be a mistake to discount us as a market worth pursuing. Make it based in Hawaii, and you would have something special.