New Zealand will reprise the domestic Super Rugby Aotearoa competition in 2021, with no Australian or Pacific islands teams involved.

New Zealand set up Super Rugby Aotearoa in 2020 for its five professional franchises after the broader Super Rugby championship was abandoned due to Covid-19. 

Governing body New Zealand Rugby had hoped to include a team from the Pacific islands for next year's tournament and invited expressions of interest from Australia. 

However, its chairman Brett Impey said the pandemic had shelved those plans. 

"Covid has forced us to think domestically for next year," Impey told reporters on a video call. 

"Given the success of Super Rugby Aotearoa, it became a no-brainer that we do something similar in 2021." 

NZR's decision means Australia will also be expected to repeat its domestic Super Rugby AU competition in 2021. 

Impey said he hoped Super Rugby Aotearoa could be expanded with up to three extra teams in 2022. 

South Africa's withdrawal from Super Rugby could ultimately bring Australia and New Zealand closer despite recent friction between the trans-Tasman nations, Wallabies attack coach Scott Wisemantel believes.

South Africa, which formed Super Rugby 25 years ago with Australia and New Zealand, voted this week to pull its four major franchises out of the competition and explore expanding their presence in the European Pro14-  a major shift for the game that could also eventually see the Springboks join the Six Nations.

"The loss is that you end up with a different style of rugby. They're traditionally a power game," Wisemantel said today.

"What do we gain? I think we gain stronger ties. Within the Australian competition there are very varied styles and I think within New Zealand you will start to see that."

The rugby rivals have fallen out in recent months over planning for the game as financial pressures brought by Covid-19 bite.

New Zealand Rugby has lashed out at Australia and governing body SANZAAR over the scheduling of the four-nation Rugby Championship, which could see the All Blacks having to spend Christmas in quarantine after the last match on 12 December.

Wisemantel said he sympathised with the All Blacks but was focused on preparing the Wallabies for their first test of the season against the All Blacks on 11 October.

"Let the administrators have their little tiff... and we'll coach footy," he said. "For the Kiwis I do hope that they get home and can spend Christmas with their families, but that's another one for the administrators to sort out."