SANZAAR Announcement: 3 teams to be cut - Green and Gold Rugby
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SANZAAR Announcement: 3 teams to be cut

SANZAAR Announcement: 3 teams to be cut

After a prolonged period of angst among the Super Rugby community, SANZAAR have finally made official their plans for 2018 and beyond.

Read the full statement below:

“SANZAAR has announced that the Super Rugby tournament has been restructured and will kick-off in 2018 with a three conference, 15-team format: five teams from New Zealand, four from Australia, four from South Africa, one from Japan; and one from Argentina.

This restructuring by SANZAAR represents a crucial step in its strategic planning process that has included a comprehensive assessment of the economic and sporting environment under which its tournaments (Super Rugby and The Rugby Championship) are currently operating.

This assessment highlighted a need to adjust and strengthen Super Rugby in the short-term to ensure a robust and sustainable tournament meets the requirements of all stakeholders in terms of high performance pathways, game development, commercial revenue and fan engagement.

The change sees an overall reduction of three teams from the current 18-team format, two from South Africa and one from Australia. The Sunwolves will move into the Australian Conference. The teams from Australia and South Africa that will compete in Super Rugby will be confirmed in due course by the respective National Unions.

New Zealand Conference
Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes

Australian Conference
Four Australian teams (TBC), Sunwolves

South Africa Conference
Four South Africa teams (TBC), Jaguares

SANZAAR Chairman, Brent Impey stated, “The decision to revert to a 15-team format reflects a consensus view of the mandated SANZAAR Executive Committee that met in London recently. It was not the determination of any one Union or stakeholder and follows a thorough assessment and review of the tournament over the last nine months.”

“SANZAAR is delighted that its major broadcast partners have after due consideration agreed to the restructured format within the existing broadcast agreements. Our broadcast partners are an important stakeholder and their vision for Super Rugby moving forward is the same as ours.”

“This decision has not been an easy one and we recognise the difficulty associated with reducing the number of teams in Australia and South Africa. Naturally we understand that there will be some very disappointed franchises but the tournament’s long-term future and the economic reality of the business at present is something that had to be addressed.”

“The decision to retain the Sunwolves is linked directly to SANZAAR’s strategic plan for the future. The potential for growth of the sport in Asia off the back of the establishment of the Sunwolves and the impending RWC in 2019  is significant. It remains an obvious focus for the organisation and a Japanese Super Rugby franchise is key to that strategy.”

SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos stated, “This has been a long and complex piece of work and we make no apology for that. Super Rugby is unique in world rugby in that it is played in six countries across 15 time zones and has numerous stakeholders.”

“SANZAAR cannot continue to ignore the extensive feedback that it has received from fans, stakeholders and commercial partners around the integrity of the competition format and performances of the teams. We want to see an engaging, vibrant and competitive competition that delivers a strong high performance pathway in all markets that will have a positive flow into the international game.”

“It became clear during our strategic assessment that there are two facets to the future of our tournaments. The first is a requirement to react to existing market forces within the sporting business environment and to implement short-term change to Super Rugby. This is what we have done.”

“The second is the longer term vision, through a strategic plan, to build the brand that in the future can maximize further development of the game, commercial revenues and the ongoing sustainability of the tournaments. This work is presently ongoing and details will be released in the coming months.”

Tournament Details

  • 120 match regular season plus seven match finals series
  • 15 teams
  • Three conferences (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa)
  • 18 rounds [16 matches per team, two bye weeks]
  • Each team will play eight matches within its conference (four home and four away)
  • Each team will play eight cross-conference matches – against four of the five teams from each of the other two conferences (four at home and four away)
  • Each team will play 12 of the other teams within the season (85% of opposition teams which is up from 70% in 2016).
  • Eight team Finals Series: Three Conference winners and; five wild card places – the next best performing teams based on competition points after the Conference winners regardless of Conference. Conference winners and fourth-placed team on competition points will host quarter-finals.

The ARU have decided to cut a team and now the the process drags on as an evaluation phase begins to determine who will be cut. Super Rugby foundation teams – the Reds, Brumbies and Waratahs – are apparently safe with the decision to come down to the two newest teams, the Force or the Rebels.

ARU Chairman, Cameron Clyne, and CEO, Bill Pulver, will hold a media conference Monday monring (9:30am AEST) to discuss the SANZAAR decision.

 

  • Pedro

    Should have just said that at the start of the season.

  • John Nugent

    Thank you and good-bye Australian rugby.

    • BigNickHartman

      Nooooooo John don’t go

    • Perth girl

      Me too John

  • Warcomet

    Goodbye Force, Kings and Cheetahs :( Force will be missed the most.

  • Jim Marsh

    Well no surprises here, i’m personally excited at the prospect of the Sunwolves joining the Australian conference, Likewise the Jags the SA conference. I think long term expanding the competition by re-adding a side to the Aus/SA conferences and adding a PI team to the NZ conference could be a great way to expand back to a 18 team format.

    I wonder what the eligibility status will be for the sunwolves now they will join our conference. Could potentially fill the some of the void of losing a provincial side.

    • Twoilms

      ‘Re-adding’. The Force get cut the game is dead in WA for ever. That simple.

      Rugby will never be a thing in Melbourne.

      • Jim Marsh

        Agree wholeheartedly, id much rather see the Rebels cut given how saturated the victorian market is.

        It all comes down to how the ARU approaches the feeder competitions, What happens to the Spirit or Pindan Premier Grade if the Force are cut?? The Premier Grade in WA has been around from the 60’s, well before the force and will be around long after it. Will the NRC be impacted by losing a SR team? Will competition for SR contracts increase and the player quality in the remaining 4 team increase? There are a heap of variables that could very easily benefit Australian rugby as cost it.

        Be interesting to see how the ARU will handle it.

        • Ivan Robinson

          Sadly Jim the ARU do not give a s”t about WA.

        • Muzz

          Unfortunately they don’t seem to give a shit about anything. Except maybe getting back ended

        • Fan

          “id much rather see the Rebels cut given how saturated the victorian market is.”
          Their market is 5 million or so people. The market is ripe for people who want something other than AFL. It’s a long term play, not a short term one. Always has been.
          Likewise, a team in WA at least creates the illusion that the ARU takes their responsibility as a national governing body seriously

      • Muzz

        So if the Rebels should be cut ahead of the Force them cut them. Fuck club ownership if this is a long term decision then it needs to be the right one. Even if it ends up in court.
        You do have a leg to stand on don’t you SANZAAR?

    • Perth girl

      You are welcome to the Sunwolves Jim. I’m suprised you think it is a good idea to support a foreign team over an Australian team. I think you will find people here in WA will not support rugby again if the ARU shaft the Force

      • Jim Marsh

        I’m sorry that rugby only means something to you if you have a provincial team. As I said above I have absolutely no desire to see the force go.

        • Perth girl

          It has meant something to me for over 30 years long before the Force started but the way the ARU has treated the Force since it started and the way it has conducted this review is disgusting and I will not support them anymore. I cannot tell you how much it breaks my heart to say that! I will not supporting any rugby team

  • paul

    Sadly the decline of Australian rugby will continue, we are now nothing more than a niche sport. with a governing body incapable of delivering what is required to the code here.
    A totally gutless decision, but did we expect anything else. Theo other three codes in Australia must truly be laughing.

  • Simon

    What a sad day. I hope they don’t just cut the Force outright. Ideally I’d prefer a merger with home games split between the two cities, but I can’t really see a Force/Rebels merger happening with the private owners of the Rebels and with Perth so far away.

    • Perth girl

      Western Australia, Out of sight, out of mind according to the ARU and most of Australia except when it comes to GST

  • Dally M

    So we still have a draw where not everyone plays each other, the Aussies with the easybeat Sunwolves, the Kiwi’s with the toughest conference and will cannibalise each other for playoff spots, and guaranteed finals spots to teams that don’t necessarily deserve them.

    Congratulations NZ and SANZAAR, you got your 15 teams and pissed off Aussie and South African fans in the process without solving a couple of the obvious issues with the whole enterprise.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I don’t think you can blame NZ mate. The main point from NZ was that the competition needs Australia NZ and SA to survive and to grow. The issue was the stupid conference system that was completely unsupportable and offered nothing to the supporters

      • Muzz

        Agreed but why did SANZAAR think straight up that ditching teams was the best option? It seems very extreme if they haven’t had a real look at less disruptive alternatives

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I know mate. But when it comes to short sighted shit decisions SANZAAR is only ever in competition with the ARU

      • Dally M

        C’mon, the only country not getting screwed here is NZ & we still have the conference system. Are you suggesting NZ got nothing they wanted out of all this?

        • mikado

          Seems like the NZ teams will be guaranteed a tough draw – every other NZ team, home and away. But one fewer guaranteed finals place to an undeserving SA conference winner so maybe evens out overall.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          No. NZ wanted the change so that it was more relevant but I think if SANZAAR had come up with a viable plan that kept the teams then NZ would have backed that. They certainly didn’t fight for a 5th Aussie team but neither did the ARU.

        • Dally M

          I don’t think financially the ARU had much to fight with.

          The almighty $ has kept the Sunwolves in and it will keep the Rebels in over the Force.

          It seems to me that NZ were happy to go with whatever the plan was, as long as the money keeps coming and their teams were safe. They compromised on conferences, the draw & guaranteed finals spots. All bigger problems than the 3 teams being cut for the long term viability of SuperRugby.

  • Dally M
  • Johnno

    Murdoch runs the show not SANZAAR, he obviously thought 15-teams was enough content, ratings were down so he pulled the plug on 3-teams. I wouldn’t mind building the base and just having a domestic comp even if OZ rugby becomes a farm league for europe. We do it in soccer(A-League) and NBL, no problem if NRC is just a farm league to Europe, super rugby is becoming a farm league year by year e.g. Ben Mowen/Will Skelton etc. I wonder if OZ rugby will be able to sustain NRC and 4 super rugby teams, 1-Tier to many while club rugby eg-shute shield is run on an oily rag and struggling(no ARU funding anymore) and junior rugby is broke to.

    • Alister Smith

      I think there is a great deal of merit in abandoning or at least backing out of SANZAAR – build the NRC and turn SANZAAR into a champions league time game (we can take the japanese in if it will help get us some more broadcasting money)

    • paul

      Agreed dump Super rugby and go it alone ffs.

  • Alister Smith

    very disappointing decision if it is the Force – i am all for keeping five but the Rebels were the ones that stretched us and they have the most limited local playing base – they should be the ones to go – and some of the ARU board (or all perhaps) should go with them

  • Andrew Luscombe

    Every other league makes their teams competitive by things such as salary caps, drafts, revenue sharing, etc. This includes AFL, NRL, A-league, NBL, NBA, NHL,NFL, MLB, MLS, netball, BBL, English Premiership Rugb – almost every sport in the world.

    The ARU makes its teams uncompetitive by applying a salary cap that exempts Wallabies and lets them choose to play for Reds and Warratahs. Reds and Waratahs then waste their talent. The Waratahs and Reds have not been “diluted”, but have still performed badly the last two seasons. “Dilution” clearly isn’t the problem.

    SANZAAR and other unions make Super Rugby teams uncompetitive in all sorts of ways, and the expansions over the last few years have been abysmally managed.

    The management of the league is the problem. They are a laughing stock in comparison to every other major sports body.

  • LBJ

    What a bunch of incompetent fools the ARU are.

    They have sold out Aus rugby for Yen – all of which they keep for themselves (the professionals). Nothing has been put into the game’s roots for nearly a decade.

    I’m only one person, but I will no longer support the Waratahs or Wallabies – I’ve cancelled all tix and memberships and I will actively encourage others to do the same.

    I will pull my boys from junior rugby unless I can find a way to make sure the ARU receive nothing.

    Basically a Boycott until Pulver is sacked and a body that supports Aus rugby is appointed.

    Sincerely
    LBJ
    Sydney

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I think you’re going to be the tip of the iceberg mate.

    • Muzz

      Mate I’m a Tahs fan but I’ll be scarred if the Force go cause I love those guys. But I’ll just divert my attention to juniors and my local club as they’ve always been the biggest things for me anyway.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    I don’t know what discussions have been had at any level but I think this will deal a huge blow to all SH rugby. Australian rugby will take years to get over this and that will affect us, the SAFA’s and the Argies as we all need a strong Australia to maintain our competitiveness. This has been coming for a while but I think the decline in Australian rugby has got very little to do with Super Rugby; it is much more due to the tribalism and selfishness of the different states clubs along with a lack of investment at the lower level that has prohibited a decent structure to allow players, coaches and referees to grow. Personally I think dumping the Rebels is a better solution than dumping the Force as at least the Force have a club infrastructure behind them and are growing home based players. The Rebels can only survive if they import players because they haven’t got the infrastructure to grow their own. However, I think dumping either will add to the decline of rugby overall. I feel sorry for every rugby supporter in Australia; you have been shafted.
    I am very much against the solution of dumping Super rugby altogether here as has been mentioned by a few. That is a very narrow solution and it will only further reduce the profile of the game. That will reduce sponsorship and funding event further and how is that a good idea? The idea that a local rugby competition can grow to compete with league and AFL is, in my opinion, a desperate dream with no reality behind it at all.

    • Nick Farnan

      The Rebels have a strong infrastructure and their U20 are strong 9 layers in the U20 squad m ore then Brumbies and Force combined. Vic rugby developed 10 Super rugby players prior to the Rebels establishment.

  • Muzz

    I think this is a really shit decision but I would say that the rut Aus rugby is currently in can only be arrested by the public seeing that a revolution of sorts has taken place and we’re going to come out the other side better and with good things to come. I’m not convinced that cutting a team in this situation will do that. It will certainly piss a lot of people off.

  • Chinese Dave

    Seems like the only sensible decision, but it should be the rebels and not the force. Except, it won’t because billy private school mates 750K pulver presided over the addition of the rebels and can’t admit to the mistake.
    To highlight his lack of spine and leadership, he’s delaying the announcement of which team it is. Poor guy, I guess six weeks of dicking around with his SANZAAR pals wasn’t enough to make the decision. What a cowardly piece of excrement.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate you have got him in one

    • Pclifto

      Amen. Well summarised

    • Perfect. Currently Force are 2nd (CURRENTLY!), and Rebels 5th. Awkward for dropping the Force too.

    • Fan

      I’d argue that going forward (with Super Rugby, I’m against this and against scrapping any sides) the unpopular reality is that the Brumbies should go (or relocate). ACT is not producing Wallabies, it has limited development potential and the Brumbies operates at a loss.

      • Seb V

        How is that any different to the Force? At least the Brumbies are successful. In fact the most successful Super XV team in history in Australia.

        • Fan

          The Force play in a large city with a massive catchment area and have huge growth potential.
          The Brumbies do not. I do not advocate cutting any sides at all for what it is worth. If one is to go it makes sense replace the Rebels with a well-oiled machine in a city with growth potential. I would hate to see that happen, however.

  • Muzz

    player depth is perceived to be Australia’s weakness and while I think it’s more to do with coaching, Aus rugby systems etc it’s something that needs to be addressed. On paper Australia’s worst team is arguably the Force yet they are the second best Aus team behind the Brumbiea in my view. They are well coached and united. Meanwhile the Reds and Tahs are pretty much wading in their own filth but are full of Wallabies.
    If a solution is needed to bolster our teams without cutting any we could strike up a meaningful alliance with the pacific island nations and allow about 6-7 per club while they remain eligible for their own nation. Remember we’ve already got a Fijian team playing NRC next year. Nothing of the sort seems to have been considered though which is disappointing.

    SANZAAR and ARU are unfortunately a shit show and they’ve lost the dressing room

  • Pearcewreck

    Personally, no Aussie team should go, it should have been the Sunwolves, they are hopeless, and were last in. But as they are protected, I think it should be the Rebels. I don’t have any grudge against them or Melbourne, but I think it should be them for the following reasons:
    1. The started with a poor culture, and I’m not convinced that has changed. Remember Cipriani, O’Connor etc. Not a good way to establish club culture.
    2. They were last Aussie team in, therefore first out.
    3. To make it happen the ARU only have to convince one company Imperium Sports, the owner of the Rebels, to pull the pin. Think about it, they convince them to pack it in, then they can save face by saying Imperium has pulled out and the ARU can’t bail out the Rebels. So they fold.
    4. The danger of keeping the Rebels is that in a few years time their owner could pull the pin anyway, and then what? What if Imperium gets sick of it by say 2020? Who owns the Rebels then? Who bails them out?
    5. Mebourne will always be AFL mad, maybe rugby should accept that there is only room for one “rugby” team in Melbourne, the Storm (btw, I’m not a League fan). Leave Melboune to the NRL, lets shore up Perth.
    6. Results on the park have always been awful, especially this year.
    Btw, I have been a Brumbies fan since day one. Never been to Perth, don’t hate Melboune or the Rebels.

    • RedAnt

      Mate I live in Melb and agree 100%. Like having the Rebels here but if one Aussie team has to go…

    • Fan

      That seems a solid argument to relocate the Brumbies to Melbourne? (Not pro that idea or cutting any sides btw).

      if we persist with Super Rugby, ditching the Force or the Rebels (or Brumbies) will not achieve anything.

    • Simon

      The problem is the ARU is probably going to have to buy out Imperium which they will struggle to afford.

      If I were in charge this is what I’d do. Keep the Force. Merge the Brumbies and Rebels, call them the Southern Brumbies, stationed in Canberra but playing 2-3 home games per year in Melbourne in the way the Kiwi teams play a few regional games.

      Give Imperium the option to remain part owners of the merged club or to sell back their share of the Rebels. Bite the bullet and spend the money to make it happen if they want out.

      Maintain the Melbourne Rebels as the NRC team with a combined development pathway leading to the Brumbies. Give the Brumbies first pick of the Rebels players and distribute the rest across the remaining franchises, including the Sunwolves.

      • Perth girl

        Simon for ARU CEO!! commonsense ideas

  • Adrian

    1.Merge Lions, Bulls, Cheetahs and call them the High Veldt Animals

    2. Merge Rebels and Force (Rebels buy Force off ARU for $1, or ARU buy Rebels for $10m) to form the Rebel Force.

    3. Sack Pulver and ARU Board (and Reds coach)

    4. Get on with life

    • Perth girl

      Own the Force buys the Rebels for $1 Merge the Rebels and the Force and call it Western Force

      • Adrian

        Good idea, but Rebels, being privately owned will demand $millions, not $1

        • Perth girl

          The owner is asking for $4 mill plus after being paid $5 mill when he “bought” the Rebels

    • Ulrich

      Merging any two SA franchises is akin to merging Argentina and Brazil in football. Their respective identities are too great and the rivalries too big.

      • Adrian

        What I really meant, is that the SA government may have a big say in this.
        They don’t like the Afrikaans guys that effectively run SA Rugby.
        Those 3 teams are in Afrikaner heartland country.
        That would leave the 3 other teams plus the amalgamated team. Those on the high veldt won’t like it, but the government may force it

  • John Parker

    This will significantly weaken the Wallabies, as a lot of exciting young players now coming to the fore, such as Conroy, Coleman, Hodge, Naivalu, Dempsey and Holloway (and there’s a lot more) would never have been seen without a 5th Super rugby side – their way would have been blocked by the incumbents, because Australian rep. sides are traditionally harder to get out of than to get into. It also shows an awful contempt for Western Australian rugby and their many loyal fans, who have been inspirational, through thick and thin. There’s just no way to say, ‘We’re cutting you loose’, without admitting failure to support national growth of the game. I am a Queenslander, but am devastated for those 22,000 WA fans who marched to rugby headquarters in Perth during the lobbying for a 4th Australian side, and won the franchise with their passion. So this is how loyalty is rewarded on the Australian rugby scene. I cancelled my FoxSports subscription today.

  • Seb V

    Gee SA were whinging a few years ago about why they can’t have 6 teams in the comp, now they will only have 4. What happened!!?? I really don’t support Japan and Argentina being in the comp, it just doesn’t make sense – one domestic team for the whole country? What load of crap is that? Make their own comp with at 2-3 teams from the country, make there own comp with Argentina or even the Pacific Islanders

  • Seb V

    Maybe they will make Aus players who play for the Sunwolves eligible for the wallabies since its still the Aus conference. Now in terms of player retention that wouldn’t be too bad, plus the guys who go to Japan might get paid big bucks (hopefully).

  • Kevino

    So we all said the expansion to 18 teams was fucking stupid and would not work. Now we are going back to 15 teams but losing two teams that deserve to remain for the sunwolves and argies.

    ARU can get stuffed if they think I will even buy an over priced Wallabies ticket again. If it is the Rebels that go I will stop watching SH rugby all together.

    Sunwolves should have to play the Aussie team getting dropped home and away to earn their place. We all know they would lose.

  • Kevino

    Oh and over 50% of the comp make finals, what a joke

  • Tex

    Bill Pulver resign bitch

  • LED

    Having to cut 30% of the teams from 2 of the 3 strongest rugby nations in the world is a stunning admission that Super Rugby is broken. And in the magnitude of that statistic is the implication that a new competition format as suggested by SANZAAR is just rearranging deckchairs on the titanic.

    People have switched off and the only thing certain from cutting 3 teams is that even more now will switch off. The Waratahs, Reds or Brumbies wont get any more eyeballs just because the Force are being cut, but you can be damn certain that most Force supporters will now send back their Foxtel boxes.

    Why have people switched off? It isnt just because of the latest conference structure – though that didnt help. The problem has been apparent long before this latest 18 team fiasco. Its because the quality anbd consistency of play by even major teams has become so poor, uninspiring and erratic that its become a experience in anger management to sit down on the weekend and watch your team. I ran the “Rebuild the Waratahs” campaign at the end of Michael Foley’s tenure and to get anyone interested in speaking up for the future of the Waratahs was even back then like pulling teeth. That was 5 years ago and the most common response was the same as it is today “I used to follow them but now its easier to watch League – I dont watch any more”. No one gave a crap. And thats not limited to the Tahs, people are sick and tired of games that are increasingly one sided spankings.

    Rugby is a technically complicated game and at the elite level, small problems in preparation and organisation get magnified on field. There is only one nation in the world that has nailed rugby organisation from the top down to the coaching and players – even made it a well oiled machine and thats NZ – and its notable that their domination of rugby is getting stronger and lo and behold theres no need to cut teams.

    On the other hand, It is no surprise that the common element between the 2 countries who are cutting teams is that every level of rugby organisation is in disarray. From political interference, to police investigations of provinces, questionable coaching appointments, constant money issues, no cohesion between provincial and national programs etc etc – this is the state of play in Aust and SA. And until it is dealt with there will be no change to the current trajectory of rugby in this country.

    Cut a team or dont. Thats not the problem. Professionalise rugby administration at all levels and align the incentives of the provinces and national programs and that will do more to improve rugby in Australia than anything else. And in that theres some very hard decisions to be made to get there.

    • Fan

      It has been clear for years that Super Rugby was not fit for purpose.

      This consultation process was a unique opportunity to address the issues and replace it with something that would work (Heineken Cup for SANZAAR and leagues in ANZ, Africa, America and Pacific).

      We’ve blown it.

  • Ali

    It has previously been documented that South Africa brings in more revenue than Australia and New Zealand for SANZAAR during the Super Rugby season yet they lose a franchise?

    There are larger numbers and more regions in South Africa and Australia to take advantage of and they should be supporting the various regions of these countries. Removing teams such as the Western Force ostracizes the entire west coast of Australia who are already lacking in sports teams to support.

    All three major countries (Aus/NZ/RSA) have declining fan engagement and therefore declining revenue. However, I doubt the feedback from fans insinuated that we need to cull these teams over removing the new additions to the competition.

    SANZAAR need to be assisting franchises in finding strategies that are simple and cost-effective to execute to build fan engagement within existing franchise regions, not just culling them.

    They need to work on building rugby from the ground up in Australia. At the moment local junior and schoolboy rugby players do not have the opportunities they once did and should be given a pathway through to Super Rugby teams. Our current Super Rugby teams are lacking in local talent, we keep importing from New Zealand and the Islands. We have the talent, we want to support our talent. Not see them give up.

    South Africa is brimming with talent but the sports landscape in the country has become a political minefield that none of the major sporting bodies want to assist with. Their local players are either not being considered due to the politics involved or don’t want to deal with the stress and go overseas. However, Australia could take a leaf out of their book for local fan engagement and player pathways. They have fantastic opportunities for young players to be seen in Currie Cup, Varsity Cup, etc. – often providing avenues for overseas contracts.

    New Zealand has a local format that works for them and assists to develop their players and provide them with a pathway to Super Rugby.

    But why strengthen one conference over two others?

    • Fan

      SA brings in the most peanuts, and we’re only talking about peanuts rather than big bucks because pandering to the TV demands of an individual nation.

      Super Rugby is not viable as the standalone tournament. It should be replaced by a Champions League/Heineken Cup competition and have the distinct geographic regions run their own tournaments concurrently, where the top teams also partake in the international competition. Everyone wins in this scenario and such a high level SANZAR tournament would eclipse the commercial appeal of Super Rugby within a few years.

      Instead we are committing to a restructure that is condemning the game

  • Arty

    This is making me ill. A bit like having to shoot you sister.
    No cut will do, this is madness for supporters of Rugby,
    I’m going back to supporting my park team and state team, NRC and reading newspapers only. Will not watch any other SR game ever.
    NZ rugby can get lost, they have achieved a lot through this competition and are happy to shit on the rest. Now slipping in the boot off the field as well.
    Fox and their gutless team can get stuffed for their self interested support of their own at the expense of loyal Australia Rugby fans.

  • Fan

    Why not make Super Rugby a Champions League/Heineken Cup style tournament? The quality would be elite, games would be relevant, therefore get the TV figures, attendances etc, and it wouldn’t matter that every team played eachother. It also leaves room in the calendar to run domestic/regional tournaments with the same teams at the same time which would be easier to follow and would be popular with fans. AND it means you can keep all the teams.

    EDIT: To add…
    1) Option 1: See your side play all the other teams in Australia (and ideally NZ) twice in a competition, knowing you would also play a handful of games against the best foreign sides in another competition too?
    2) Option 2: See your side play against some teams in Australia and a selection of foreign sides, many poor.

Rugby
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The original prop in a prop's body, but thankfully I have the rugby mind of a prop as well.

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