Robertson reveals NZ Super Rugby model

Super Rugby
AAP
by AAP

Champion Crusaders coach Scott Robertson says a 10-week Super Rugby domestic competition is on the cards when the sport resumes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Robertson potentially let the cat out of the bag in a rugby podcast, saying the five Kiwi teams are poised to meet in a series of "brutal" matches, with flexibility built in around the start date.

New Zealand Rugby has said it is exploring a host of domestic and international options, all of which were dependent on when clearance is given to restart.

Robertson told podcast host and former England international Will Greenwood that Super Rugby will kick off in his country when the government has reduced its lockdown measures to alert level one.

New Zealand is currently at a restrictive level four but will shift to level three on Monday.

"We will just play local games, derby games as we call it, so it will be 10 weeks home and away, and the first (team) - top of the table wins, So it's pretty brutal," said Robertson, who has coached the Crusaders to the last three successive titles.

"If we start June, July, August - we will get the Super in and we will go into the NPC (provincial competition) and just finish later in the year."

New Zealand's Super Rugby players, including All Blacks, have had 50 per cent of their pay "frozen" until the end of the year and won't see any of it if there's no rugby played.

Three of the Kiwi Super teams - the Blues, Chiefs and Crusaders - admitted this week they'd been forced to make some staff redundant.

With All Blacks home Tests scheduled for July against Wales and Scotland looking increasingly unlikely, Robertson hoped NZ Rugby's Super plan could begin as soon as possible.

"That's the information here at the moment but it all depends on what the government says.

"We just need to play a bit of footy. Everyone does. We need to get some sport, get our businesses back on track."