SANZAR has confirmed that they have received tenders from sides in both Japan and Singapore to become the 18th Super Rugby side when the competition expands in 2016.
After the two sides, amongst many others, expressed their interest, SANZAR has created this shortlist of the two Asian-based applicants that best meet the criteria needed to run a Super Rugby team and will proceed with the full tender before a decision is reached some time in September or October.
SANZAR CEO Greg Peters said: “We are now able to confirm that two parties from Asia will compete for the opportunity to join an expanded Super Rugby competition in 2016. Asia is a region that has been the focus of considerable investment by the International Rugby Board in recent years and is a strategically sound location for the evolution of Super Rugby.
“We were happy with the number of responses received, however the two stand-out expressions of interest that were most attractive to the SANZAR unions were received from Japan and Singapore.
“Each bid has the support of the respective National Unions and includes other interested parties who will provide commercial and business support required for a venture of this nature.”
The Super Rugby competition is set to expand to 18 teams in 2016 with the Southern Kings to return and an Argentinian franchise already confirmed. The two Asian sides will now have until mid-August to submit formal tender documents, outlining why they should be the team to join the Southern Hemisphere’s elite club competition.