The New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and Rugby Australia (RA) national governing bodies for rugby union have confirmed the extension of their joint-venture agreement for Super Rugby Pacific that will see the Southern Hemisphere’s top clubs competition run until at least 2030.

The new agreement, which covers the 2024 to 2030 period, will see the introduction of a new governance model and the establishment of a nine-person board to oversee it. The board will also explore the creation of an integrated women’s competition linked to Super W in Australia and Sky Super Rugby Aupiki in New Zealand.

There are said to be no current plans for the format of the competition itself to change, which was revamped as Super Rugby Pacific for the 2022 season with two Fijian clubs joining those from Australia and New Zealand. The potential for future developments remains, however.

A revenue-sharing model has been agreed upon until the end of the current broadcast deals at the end of 2025 to be renegotiated once new subsequent agreements have been reached.

NZR and RA will also collaborate on wider commercial initiatives and opportunities.

NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said: “This long-term agreement provides certainty for players, coaches, fans, sponsors, and broadcast partners and it solidifies our joint commitment to ensuring Super Rugby Pacific is the most entertaining, innovative, and fan-focused cross-border club competition in the world.

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“We charted a new path with the introduction of Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua this year, and having all 91 games played in regional time zones, and believe we have entered an exciting new era for rugby in the Pacific region.”

RA chief exec Andy Marinos added: “Today marks the dawn of a new era of Super Rugby within our region. Securing this long-term partnership provides stability and continuity that the competition and Super Rugby clubs need to enable Rugby to grow in stature and importance across the region.”

Of the potential launch of a women’s competition, Robinson added: “We saw the quality of women’s rugby throughout the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and while it is not a case of 'copy and paste' with the men’s structure in Super Rugby Pacific, we believe there are enormous opportunities to build a world-class cross-border professional women’s club competition in the Pacific region.”

Image: Phil Walter/Getty Images