New Zealand scribe Marc Hinton believes Kiwi powerbrokers could be ‘stuck in a negotiating room on their lonesome’ after Sanzaar relationships have soured.
In a column for popular site Stuff.co.nz, Hinton suggested it could be a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’ after it was confirmed on Tuesday that SA Rugby was set to move its four existing Vodacom Super Rugby sides into northern-hemisphere competition.
‘The Aussies will be loving this. South Africa have effectively cut their ties with Super Rugby, thrown their lot in with the north and given the grandstanding New Zealand union a flea in their ear while they’re at it,’ Hinton writes.
‘This all plays out while new Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McClennan describes the trans-Tasman relationship as being at its “lowest ebb” and continues to throw shade on New Zealand’s version of the contentious Rugby Championship timeline for 2020. It is not difficult to make the assumption that the good folk at NZR have not so much lost the whip hand in terms of mapping their future in the professional game, but find themselves wedged firmly between a rock and a hard place.
‘With South Africa clearly gravitating towards a sensible geographic and commercial realignment with the north and the Aussies with their noses out of joint over NZR’s bully-boy approach to the road ahead in Super Rugby, Kiwi powerbrokers risk being stuck in a negotiating room on their lonesome.
‘The All Blacks may indeed be the biggest brand in the sport, but they still need the support of others to maintain this privileged status.’