SANZAAR discussions not distracting Brumbies

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Brumbies backrower Ben Hyne says uncertainty over Super Rugby’s future isn’t ideal but his mission was a simple one as he tries to win a new contract.

Having signed a one-year contract with the Brumbies, Hyne is one of those affected by a recent refreeze on negotiations with non-Wallabies players until more certainty around Super Rugby’s future.

That stipulation is due to run out soon, with negotiations able to begin again, but it had frustrated some teams, with a number of layers off-contract at the end of the year.

With the Brumbies one of the franchises speculate to be at risk if an Australian team is cut, Hyne said rumours were irrelevant and it hadn’t changed his approach as he tries to cement himself as a regular Super Rugby player.

“It’s a decision I can’t do anything about nor can anyone else in the playing group or the coaches,” he said.

“It’s up to SANZAAR and how they handle the whole situation.

“You take the field each week trying to impress and improve your game and be re-signed and that’s what I’ve been trying to do for the Brumbies.

Ben Hyne started for the Brumbies last weekend. Photo: Getty Images“If it goes south or whatever, then strong performances on the field are going to go in your favour when it comes to signing a new contract.”

Hyne started for the Brumbies in place of Scott Fardy (rested) against the Force, but is expected to shift out of the XV with Fardy’s return against the Waratahs.

Hooker Josh Mann-Rea said the SANZAAR discussions weren’t distracting the team, which sits on top of the Australian conference, but backed the continuation of five Australian teams.

“I don’t know what it’s like for the other people but it’s good for us players,” he said.

“It’s a tough comp. I think the five teams work in Australia so I think it’s all right but that’s my opinion.

“All we can do is play well and roll with the decision that they go with.

“We all want five teams and that sort of stuff, which would be good, I think it works for Australia.

“At the end of the day it’s not up to us to make that decision, it’s up to SANZAAR and the people up there.”

While he stayed away from giving his opinion on the overall competition, Mann-Rea said he would like to have more Australian derbies.

Under the current format, the Brumbies play fierce rivals, the Waratahs, just once this season, this Saturday at Allianz Stadium.

"Local derbies are always good. I think they’re good for Australian rugby," he said.

"I think we only get to play them once this year so I think that makes it special.

"I’m a big one for the Aussie derbies, I think it gets a bit of pride back in the state for the fans as well. I’d like a few more derbies if it’s possible."

Cheetahs boss Harold Verster reportedly told South African media overnight that a consensus had been reached to contract Super Rugby to 16 teams, with an Australian and a South African team possibly to be cut.

The Brumbies travel to Sydney to take on the Waratahs this Saturday, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via radio on RUGBY.com.au.

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