Four options for new Super team - Tew

LIAM NAPIER
Last updated 18:00 29/05/2014
Steve Tew
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BOSS MAN: New Zealand Rugby Union boss Steve Tew.

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New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew is aware of "four" possible options for Super Rugby's 18th team.

The three Sanzar partners are due to present the new format to broadcasters on June 30 with Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong all thought to be in the mix to host the team.

"There are certainly some live options on the table," Tew said after the NZRU's May board meeting. "It's a work in progress and a deadline hasn't been reached yet. We're sure there are at least four groups that are seriously looking at a variety of locations around the Southern Hemisphere."

Other items up for discussion were the IRB's tender process of the sevens World Series. Looking to sustainably increase commercial value and re-position tournaments, the IRB requires all nations reapply for their hosting rights. 

Subject to reaching an agreement with the Wellington City Council, Tew confirmed the capital remained New Zealand's preferred location. 

"We're confident we will be in the mix with Wellington but we have to go through that process," he said.

Private investment in the Highlanders - the only New Zealand team yet to have their licence sold - was on track to take place later in the year.

"We will get through this year's Super Rugby competition and the last quarter of this year would be our target to be in the market," Tew said.

The NZRU also remain confident the USA will gain release of their European based-players for the test against the All Blacks in Chicago.

"In general terms USA are confident they're going to have the majority of their players available for November 1."

Following confirmation Zac Guilford's contract with the Crusaders had been terminated, Tew said the former All Blacks wing would need to alter his behaviour before being welcomed back to New Zealand rugby.

"We're disappointed but we've reached the end of our relationship with Zac and we wish him all the best," he said.

"We all know there have been significant issues around Zac for a long time. Any return to New Zealand rugby, while not precluded, would have to be on some very strict terms."

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