Singapore and Japan to battle for Super Rugby spot
July 16, 2014
Singapore recently hosted a 10s tournament © Getty Images
The 18th Super Rugby franchise will either be a team from Japan or Singapore.
SANZAR, the body in charge of Super Rugby, confirmed on Wednesday it will field applications from both countries and after a full tender, they will decide which country is awarded a franchise in September/ October ahead of the newly-expanded tournament which will start in 2016.
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.
"Each bid has the support of the respective national unions and includes other interested parties who will provide commercial and business support required for a venture of this nature."
The Singaporean and Japanese bidders will have until mid-August to submit their case as they seek to join the current 15 sides and teams from South Africa - the Kings - and Argentina in time for the expanded competition.
The current Japan boss Eddie Jones has spoken out on his preference writing in his weekly column for News Corp that it was "a joke that Singapore is even being considered as the base for the 18th Super Rugby team when Japan ticks all the right boxes for forward thinking".
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