The New Zealand government has reportedly funded a feasibility study to determine if the Pacific Islands should get a Super Rugby team.
According to New Zealand’s Newshub website, both New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and the country’s government have worked on the proposal, meaning a united ‘Pacific Force’ is now close to reality.
The team would be made up of players from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
The feasibility study was carried out by Jeremy Curragh, a respected rugby commercial operative, and cost New Zealand taxpayers $80 000.
The report further states that the team would be based in Suva, Fiji but also play home games in Samoa, Tonga, Auckland and Sydney.
The team would be set up as an independent franchise and enter the competition in 2021, the report added.
A potential stumbling block for the proposal, according to the Stuff.co.nz website, is whether South African teams would be willing to play in Suva, given the fact that they already find travelling to Australia and New Zealand onerous.
This follows recent reports that an American team could be added to the competition, while there have also been reports that South African teams could exit to join leagues in Europe.
SANZAAR has denied these reports and last week stated that all its member unions were still on board and involved in an ongoing review to determine Super Rugby’s future up to 2030.