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Forrest backs RA in Super fight with NZ, Ireland on top of world rankings, Porter cited for hit




Rugby Australia is a step closer to going it alone without New Zealand teams after receiving backing from billionaire businessman Andrew Forrest and broadcaster Stan to split from their Trans-Tasman partners.

The shaky alliance between RA and RNZ is getting closer to breaking point with The Sydney Morning Herald reporting on Tuesday that Forrest, whose company bankrolls the Western Force, and Stan both telling Australian officials to split with the Kiwis if that is the best option.

Australian and New Zealand officials have been at loggerheads over the division of broadcast rights funds and they are in the process of discussing terms of an agreement for Super Rugby after next season.

Forrest said “I completely support it” when asked whether RA should go it alone if that is better for the sport in Australia.

“I’m not concerned that it doesn’t have a lot of options if it decided to go it alone,” he told the SMH.

“New Zealand is the best sporting team in the history of the game and there’s no question that part of that is the natural loyalty and spirit and talent that comes from there. But also a chunk of that is money and they’ve been able to invest in their game and their fans. Australia has to have the same opportunity if it is to really grow on an equal footing.

“I’m a person who relies on fairness in any business judgment I make and I’m also a person who loves New Zealand, but I run the oranges out for Australia.”

Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan has been bullish about doing the best deal for Australia rather than pandering to the Kiwis.

McLennan has described RNZ as “not good partners” and he has repeatedly said RA would honour its commitments for 2023 but all bets are off after that agreement is over.

All Blacks legend Sir John Kirwan has blasted McLennan’s posturing and said it would be “the dumbest political decision they could make” if they split from RNZ.

With the men’s World Cup to be played in Australia in 2027 and the women’s tournament to follow two years later, the RA coffers are about to get a much-needed boost in funds.

Johnny Sexton, caption of Ireland (C) and the team celebrate during the International Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Ireland at Sky Stadium on July 16, 2022 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Ireland celebrate after their Test against the All Blacks. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Irish into top spot on rankings

Ireland have moved top of the men’s world rugby rankings following their stunning Test series triumph against New Zealand.

Andy Farrell’s team clinched the three-match series following a 32-22 victory over the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday.

And they have swapped positions with France to take top spot for only the second time since World Rugby launched its rankings system 19 years ago.

Ireland have also broken the 90-point rating mark for a first time, standing on 90.03, with France 0.62 behind.

Ireland previously headed the rankings for a two-week spell in September 2019.

World champions South Africa remain in third spot, with New Zealand fourth, while England stay fifth, just 0.68 adrift of New Zealand.

There is then a 4.08-point gap to Australia in sixth, with Scotland seventh, Wales eighth, Argentina ninth and Japan 10th.

Porter cited for high tackle

Andrew Porter, the Ireland prop, has been cited after an incident during the Test series-clinching victory over New Zealand in Wellington.

Porter was yellow-carded by referee Wayne Barnes following a high tackle on All Blacks second row Brodie Retallick.

Match citing commissioner James Sherriff has now reported Porter, who faces a disciplinary hearing via video link on Tuesday.

Retallick suffered a fractured cheekbone and is expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks.

World Rugby said: “Ireland prop Andrew Porter will attend an independent disciplinary hearing after having been cited by the citing commissioner James Sherriff (Australia) for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.13 (a player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously) during Ireland’s Test match against New Zealand on July 16.

“The player will attend a hearing via video link before an independent judicial committee chaired by Adam Casselden (Australia), joined by former international player Stefan Terblanche (South Africa) and former international coach Frank Hadden (Scotland).”





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