Super Rugby

'The Rock' called on to push for Pacific Islands Super Rugby team

Dwayne Johnson (Getty Images)
Dwayne Johnson (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Proponents of a Pacific Island-based Super Rugby franchise are appealing to movie star and former professional wrestler Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson to drive their cause.

According to the website, New Zealand business consultant Simon Anderson has launched a social media campaign to draw Johnson into the international rugby debate.

The aim of the campaign is to get rugby fans around the globe to tag Johnson across social media channels to get him to look at a proposal video set up to argue the case for a Pacific Island franchise.

"Super Rugby needs to expand and do so without diluting the quality of the competition. Pacific Island rugby needs to be given a platform from which it can compete. In Dwayne Johnson there is the perfect win-win. Were he to be granted a licence for a Pacific franchise, he would contribute to a very bright future for SANZAAR,” Anderson said.

"At present, there appears to be no real strategy for how Super Rugby will expand and compete with the commercially superior European competitions. South Africa already has one foot out the door with two of its teams playing in Europe's Pro 14 competition.

"If South Africa did eventually exit completely and the European money started to drag more Southern Hemisphere players away, the future for Super Rugby, and all rugby in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific looks grim."

A Pacific island franchise missed the cut when Super Rugby last expanded in 2016, with new teams from Japan, Argentina and South Africa preferred.

However, recent reports have indicated that there could be further expansion when SANZAAR next month announces its plans for the future format of Super Rugby between 2021 and 2025.

The campaign involving Johnson went live on Tuesday and as of Wednesday afternoon the video had more than 39 000 views on Facebook.

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