Force believe World Series Rugby can give Super Rugby boost

Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 10:31 PM
by AAP
Brynard Stander in action for the Force. Photo: Getty Images
Brynard Stander in action for the Force. Photo: Getty Images

Former All Black Jeremy Thrush feels Super Rugby is at the crossroads, and he hopes World Series Rugby will help freshen it up.

WSR was launched by billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest after the Western Force were unceremoniously axed by Rugby Australia last year.

In total, three sides were axed from Super Rugby, but the competition's future still remains up in the air due to flagging interest.

The current broadcast deal runs until the end of the 2020, with the format of Super Rugby unknown beyond then.

Forrest has flagged the prospect of growing WSR so strong that sides from rival competitions like Super Rugby will want to join.

Thrush, who has been lured to the Force on a two-year deal, is excited about the future of WSR, which will expand into a proper competition next year.

But he isn't so optimistic about Super Rugby.

"I guess it's at a little bit of a crossroads the way it's going," Thrush said.

"I feel it needs a bit of a freshen up somehow.

"I guess if we're building this World Series Rugby here, and we can keep pushing it through, then maybe further down the line it (Super Rugby) might combine with what we're doing here, which would be great."

Thrush will make his Force debut on Friday night when he lines up against the Crusaders at nib Stadium.

The Crusaders sit on top of the Super Rugby ladder with a 12-2 record, but the defending champions will be missing their current All Blacks stars.

The Force put up a good fight in their recent loss to the Melbourne Rebels, and Thrush says there's no reason why they can't topple the Crusaders.

"I think there's chinks in any team's armour," Thrush said.

Thrush played 110 games for the Hurricanes, and more recently has been plying his trade for English side Gloucester.

It's not only him who has taken a keen interest in WSR.

"My dad's been watching it back home in NZ," Thrush said.

"He's been telling me to make sure I get my lungs right, because there's a fair bit of running, which I like."




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