/ Super Rugby 2014

/ Features

Greg Growden

Greg Growden Greg Growden RSS FeedFeeds

After more than 30 years with The Sydney Morning Herald and Fairfax Media in Australia, Greg Growden now writes exclusively online for ESPNscrum. Never afraid to step on toes, you can expect plenty of compelling insight from one of Australia's most renowned rugby writers.

Ruck'n Maul
SANZAR pushing for Singapore Super Rugby side
Greg Growden
May 9, 2014
Who will captain the Wallabies given the form of the contenders in 2014?

A Super Rugby team based in Singapore, and another pay-television outlet interested in showing Australian matches. These are the latest revelations as SANZAR continues its ludicrous campaign to add more teams and conferences to an already over-stretched tournament.

New Zealand sources have told Ruck'n Maul that within SANZAR the push for a Super Rugby team in Singapore is intensifying. SANZAR officials have been eager for some time to have a Super Rugby base in Asia. The logic is confounding, though, especially if this Singapore team is supposed to be part of one of the two proposed conferences based in South Africa. The amount of travel required would be mind-blowing. Then again SANZAR has recently been the master of dopey decisions … so clearly the crazier the idea the better.

Meanwhile high-ranking Australian provincial officials have been told by the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) that there is "competitive tension" over the Super Rugby broadcasting rights. At last week's ARU meeting at which the SANZAR expansion plans were explained, snouts tell us the provincial officials in attendance were told that Fox Sports was not alone as a pay-TV broadcaster interested in showing Super Rugby matches in Australia, and there could be a bidding war. The identity of this other pay-TV operator is a mystery. Whether this is just part of an ARU stalling process will soon be discovered.

Divided Reds spiralling out of control

Queensland Reds' woes continue, with revelations of "vicious exchanges" between players last week, and major rifts within a divided camp. No wonder Melbourne Rebels, who missed out on Matt Toomua, who has opted to stay with the Brumbies, are targeting several Reds players to sign as the northern province implodes. The Rebels are understandably confident of luring several of the disenchanted Reds players. Also hardly good timing after several recent Reds losses, the first advertisement shown on Fox Sports featured Queensland team officials promoting certain whiz-bang vitamins. Considering the Reds' dreadful recent form, you wouldn't imagine these TV ads boosting sales.

Bob Dwyer not alone in seeking equity in Waratahs

After our exclusive in last week's Ruck'n Maul column over the Waratahs being targeted by several overseas buyers, including London Irish and Narbonne, the latest news is that five different groups have shown expressions of interest in having private equity in the financially struggling province. But one of those groups is in a bit of trouble and may have to withdraw from the race, as our snouts are adamant the tax man is investigating them.

Michael Cheika's treatment by SANZAR 'less than fair'

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika remains "tight-lipped" over his treatment by SANZAR after abusing a sideline cameraman during a match in Durban. Waratahs insiders are whispering about a "less than fair" SANZAR judiciary hearing, which hit him with a fine and a suspended six-month sentence, while a strange media release from SANZAR bringing up past incidents shocked some involved with the team. A senior official in the Moore Park offices is also in serious trouble because their partner made derogatory remarks about Cheika on social media after Spiro Zavos had defended the head coach in his Sydney Morning Herald column. No wonder Waratahs team officials want this forever bumbling official out of the place.

Force board member promises nude swim in Swan River

Not for the first time, certain Western Force officials have lost touch with reality. The Force are apparently so confident of winning in Bloemfontein to go top of the Australian conference that one board member has promised to swim nude in the Swan River on Sunday morning if it occurs. Go the Cheetahs!

Rumours of the Week

- Who is the teacher at one of Sydney's most prestigious private schools who is telling his students that he's actually Tah Man?

- Which Australian A-League soccer club recently received the CV of the chief executive officer of an Australian Super Rugby province? There are a quite a number at the rugby province hoping he gets the soccer job.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Join the conversation with Greg Growden on Twitter @GregGrowden

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Australian GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Golf - Africa Open
    Golf - WGC-Cadillac Championship
    Darts - UK Open finals
    Tennis - Davis Cup first round
    Boxing - Shayne Singleton v Sam Eggington; Luke Campbell v Gary Sykes
  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Rugby

    Meat leaves Honey Badger hungry for more

    Having "bagged a bit of meat" with just his second touch back in Super Rugby, Nick Cummins says he's keen to get himself placed in Michael Cheika's World Cup squad

  • Boxing

    Butler suffers knockout defeat to champion Tete

    Paul Butler failed his quest to become a two-weight world champion within a year after he suffered an eighth-round knockout at the hands of Zolani Tete on Friday

  • Golf

    Erratic McIlroy throws club into lake at Doral

    World No.1 Rory McIlroy apologised for throwing his three iron into a water hazard after more erratic play in the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship on Friday

  • Darts

    Defending champion Lewis among UK Open casualties

    Defending champion Adrian Lewis and PDC world champion Gary Anderson were both knocked out of the UK Open at the third round stage in Minehead on Friday

  • Rugby

    Glasgow sweep Zebre aside to go top

    Glasgow hammer bottom side Zebre to go top of the Guiness PRO12 as Cardiff Blues secure a last-gasp victory at home to Connacht in Friday's evening fixtures

  • Formula One

    Pointless drivers

    Where does Anthony Davidson's record of 24 Grands Prix without a point rank him?

  • Formula 1

    'I'm more than just a pay driver' - Ericsson

    ESPN talks to Marcus Ericsson about the "pay driver" label, aiming for his first career points and what life was really like as a rookie during Caterham's chaotic final season

  • Football

    Ronaldo and co. fear nutmegs at Real Madrid, says Bale

    Gareth Bale says he has to be sharp in training or the other Real Madrid galacticos will quickly be on his case

  • Formula 1

    Grand Prix Trust: Taking care of the carers

    Amid the glitz and glamour of modern grand prix racing it can be all too easy to forget about the men and women that keep the wheels turning. The Grand Prix Trust makes sure that's not the case

  • Football

    Evans-Cisse spitting spat exposes football's glaring flaws

    A spitting contest. Just what football needs to improve its reputation. You can always rely on football to stoop that little bit lower than you expected. Papiss Cisse of Newcastle United and Jonny Evans of Manchester United, who later protested his innoce

  • News
  • Features
Sponsored Links
Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income