Super Rugby Needs Pacific Flavour: Jones

All Blacks legendary flanker Sir Michael Jones believes Super Rugby presently needs a side made-up of Pacific Is­landers to add flavour to its image. He told SUNsports yesterday that he
17 Feb 2018 11:00
Super Rugby Needs Pacific Flavour: Jones
FETA Trustee Craig Powell, Sir Michael Niko Jones with wife Malienafau Jones, son Levi Jones and Pacific Destinations rep Reona Southey at the Nadi International Airport yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

All Blacks legendary flanker Sir Michael Jones believes Super Rugby presently needs a side made-up of Pacific Is­landers to add flavour to its image.

He told SUNsports yesterday that he is “quietly confident that this would happen.”

Sir Michael arrived in the country as special guest for the Fiji Excel­lence in Tourism Awards being held tonight at Sheraton Fiji.

“I know that there are efforts be­hind the scenes to make this a real­ity,” he said, adding that he would fully support any move to bring a Pacific rugby team together.

“I believe Super Rugby and World Rugby need this and for me it will be the key to the survival and sus­tainability of Pacific Islands rugby.

“I believe that if we can’t get a team into Super Rugby sooner or later, I don’t think we will be able to showcase the full God given poten­tial of Pacific Islands rugby.”


We cannot celebrate the global game unless a tier two nation like Fiji, Samoa, Tonga or Georgia can make the semifinals of the Rugby World Cup.

“Until that time when one of these teams can reach the semifinals, I believe then we do not have a global game.

“I know there a things happening behind the scenes for supper rugby and I don’t k now how far down the track that it is but I think that is something we should all be getting behind and supporting, particular­ly as Pacific islanders.”

“If you talk to the average New Zealander, they want to see Pacific island rugby flourish and was im­portant not only for the global game but also for the game in the region.

“I don’t think it will take away anything from New Zealand rugby but also compliment what is hap­pening there too.”

Sir Michael said it was good for players from the Pacific to excel in the game around the globe and one of the main reasons was the remit­tance of money earned by the play­ers to their families back home.

“There are cases of top players leaving New Zealand rugby for lu­crative contracts in Europe and this was one of the reasons they were doing this.”

He said the addition of a Pacific islands team would stem the flow of some of these top players and would help sustain super rugby.

“And in joining this Pacific team this would give them a chance to still play for the All Blacks.”

“We have been pushing for this to happen since 2003 and we are still pushing for it.”

“I am quietly confident this would happen as it would be in the best interest of the game worldwide and in the region.”


Sir Michael said seeing Fiji, Sa­moa and Tonga down the ladder in terms of placing in World Rugby was not a true reflection of the po­tential of players from these island countries.

“I think they should be in the top eight as we have the players but we just don’t have the competition.

“You have to be exposed at the highest level and by including a Pacific team in super rugby, which is just a notch up from Test rugby, would see our boys enhance their game.”

He said this was why countries who have teams in super rugby are able to play well.

“It is such a competitive environ­ment week in week out and it is tough.

“But I think the mystique of Pa­cific rugby is missing in the com­petition.

“We have Argentina and Japan who have teams in the competition and I really feel it is about time we have a Pacific team there.”

Presently there are 15 teams from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Argentina and Japan that make up the Super Rugby fran­chises.

Edited: Leone Cabenatabua


Got A News Tip

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.

For All Fiji Sun Advertising
Fijisun E-edition