Failed Warriors bidders keen on Super Rugby team in Hawaii

Radio Sport Staff,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 16 May 2018, 9:30AM
Richard Fale is excited by the prospect of a Pasifika Super Rugby team. (Photo / NZ Herald)

The consortium that tried and failed to buy the Warriors, is interested in backing a Pacific Island Super Rugby team - based in Hawaii.

Head of the consortium Richard Fale has told the Radio Sport Breakfast that the consortium was initially established to start a Super Rugby team to Hawaii the last time the competition expanded.

"The prospect of an expansion Super Rugby franchise of Pacific Islands origin based in Hawaii was the original reason why our group came together in the first place," Fale said.

"We came together after all the excitement of the talk of the expansion of Japan and Argentina and then the talk of the next step was the United States."

Newshub reported on Monday that New Zealand Rugby and the government have funded a feasibility study on the establishment of a Pacific Islands Super Rugby team.

The team would be an independent franchise based in Suva, but also playing in Samoa, Tonga, Auckland and Sydney. The inference is that it would enter the competition in 2021, when a new broadcasting contract kicks in.

Fale said he doesn't believe a Fiji based side would be financial viable, but a Hawaiian bid would attract greater broadcast revenue.

"What we're looking at is to have the team based in Hawaii. It would still have the Polynesian-Pacific Island flavor to it but what has to be behind it is the economic feasibility of the team. By opening the door with Hawaii, it also grants you access to the US market.

"It would be particularly challenging to have it either based in Tonga or Fiji, those are just financial realities that have to be addressed. It would be the same idea but based in Hawaii," Fale said.

"It's kind of inevitable that the largest sporting market on planet Earth needs to be opened up to professional rugby," he added.

"Our proposition we think is a very viable one commercially, as well as filling the need for a Pacific Island team, and we would be able to bring the latest and greatest for not only the commercial operation of a franchise but also training, nutrition and all the other stuff that goes into it as well. Everybody else in Super Rugby would stand to benefit from what we could bring to the table as well."



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