July 20, 2020 / 7:51 AM / a month ago

Rugby: Australians needed as tough New Zealand competition takes toll, Jane says

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Australian sides would be a welcome addition to a trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition if only to give New Zealand teams a rest from beating each other up every week, Wellington Hurricanes assistant coach Cory Jane has said.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) is looking to set up a new Super Rugby competition from 2021 involving its five teams, a Pacific Islands side and two to four teams from Australia.

Jane said the current Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, set up for New Zealand’s sides after the broader Super Rugby season was halted in March, was proving incredibly physical as every game was a local derby and All Blacks places were on the line.

“Obviously the Super Rugby we have been in at the moment has been good and people are loving it,” Jane told reporters on Monday. “But you ask most teams around New Zealand and they’d say their players are sore.

“Adding some teams to the competition is a must. You can’t have New Zealand teams going around and beating each other up.

“(If we) play each other three or four times ... there aren’t going to be too many walking at the end of the competition.”

Jane added that Australian teams would be no pushovers.

“When you get a good Brumbies or Waratahs team that are confident, or a Reds team who are physical and into you, it’s hard to play them,” he said.

“It would be good to have them in this competition next year.”

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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