12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
SANZAR, the organisation representing the South Africa, New Zealand and Australian rugby unions, is re-negotiating its broadcasting deal with Rupert Murdoch's News Limited. As part of its proposal, it has decided to extend the two tournaments in order to satisfy demand, according to NZRU and SANZAR Chief Executive, Chris Moller, who said "The SANZAR proposal reflects the value of these premier rugby competitions and also the demand from fans, players, our participating rugby unions and global broadcasters, for more teams and more matches".
The move would see a further Super 12 team from both South Africa and Australia complementing the existing five from New Zealand, three from Australia and four from South Africa.
The Tri Nations will also be expanded so that each team will now play six matches as opposed to the previous four, courtesy of an extra round of matches.
This move certainly sounds the death knell, if it were needed, for any hopes of the Pacific Islands securing a seat at the top table in the Southern Hemisphere. It also flies in the face of the many public demands, from top players and coaches, for less matches, rather than more, for the top players in the game.