Pennington happy with extra NPC week

RUGBY
Last updated 10:48 16/12/2012

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An extra week has been added to the NPC, leaving teams to play just one midweek fixture.

While the Taranaki Rugby Football Union had supported a move by the majority of unions to extend the competition by a fortnight, chief executive Neil Pennington was satisfied there had been some compromise.

"Ideally we wanted a week added to the start and a week added to the end, but we're happy enough," he said.

"It is something we can work with. We have some certainty, which was the critical thing."

Eleven of the 14 unions had sought an extension of the competition to tackle the problems of short turnarounds and poor crowds at matches played during the week.

There had also been concerns from coaches that they were not being given enough time to do their core role - coach.

The competition will now start on August 17, run for nine weeks before semifinals and the final are played on consecutive weekends.

"Every second year we will have all our five home games on at weekends, which is good," Pennington said.

The impression Pennington took away from the meeting involving the NZRU and provincial union chairmen and chief executives was that the new format would stay in place for a minimum of two years.

"There were a lot of different views on what was best long term but we don't want to keep mucking around with the structure," he said.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew described the change as a "sensible solution" that did not compromise the Super Rugby or club windows.

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