The evolution of Super Rugby is set to witness an expansion in Asia, with SANZAR confirming that tenders have been submitted by Japan and Singapore to run a team when the competition grows to 18 participants in 2016.
Following an initial expression of interest process, SANZAR has created a shortlist of these two Asian-based applicants that best meet the criteria required to successfully run a Super Rugby franchise and will subsequently proceed with the full tender before a decision is reached in September/October.
SANZAR CEO, Greg Peters, said:
We are now able to confirm that two parties from Asia will compete for the opportunity to join an expanded Super Rugby competition in 2016.
Asia is a region that has been the focus of considerable investment by the International Rugby Board in recent years and is a strategically sound location for the evolution of Super Rugby.
We were happy with the number of responses received, however the two stand-out expressions of interest that were most attractive to the SANZAR Unions were received from Japan and Singapore.
The two bidders now have until mid-August to submit formal tender documents, outlining why they are best-positioned to join the world’s premier international provincial rugby competition in 2016.
The bids will be assessed against the key criteria of commercial value, infrastructure, geographic location, rugby readiness and ongoing sustainability.
The return of the Kings from South Africa’s Eastern Cape and a team based in Argentina have already been confirmed by SANZAR when the format was announced in May.