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35,000 Signature Petition Ready For NZRU

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
35,000 Signature Petition Ready For NZRU

Wellington, Nov 13 NZPA - A petition of 35,000 names seeking to stop four unions being axed from the Air New Zealand Cup competition is to be handed to the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) this afternoon.

SaveOurTeams expected to hand its petition to rugby manager Neil Sorensen at the NZRU head office.

Two hours before the handing over, the campaign had gathered 34,726 names, with 13,076 from its own online and collected signatures, 14,150 from Save the Makos, and 7500 from Save the Turbos.

Tasman's Makos and Manawatu's Turbos are two of the sides most at risk of being culled from the financially troubled competition next year.

The petition organisers pointed out that the Makos beat Auckland, North Harbour, and Waikato this year, while Manawatu downed Otago and North Harbour.

Petition organisers Kevin Hare and Dave Kirk-Jones portray themselves as rugby lovers on their Facebook pages, with Mr Kirk-Jones appearing in Turbos regalia.

They say the NZRU is meant to "promote, foster and develop rugby throughout New Zealand", and the smaller unions should not be axed from the premier competition.

The NZRU were expected to announce this month which four provinces are to be relegated to the first division in 2011.

Another revamp of the old National Provincial Championship was inevitable once the 14-team competition was deemed unsustainable.

Tasman and Northland were threatened with demotion last season but gained a reprieve, however short-lived.

Next on the block was Counties-Manukau, who this season boldly rejected a NZRU bail out package that was contingent on the union voluntarily heading for the exit. NZPA

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