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Where to for Super Rugby?

Rugbynutter39

Steve Williams (59)
Super rugby could be improved by being a Heinkin Cup format....

That is the basis of the message....if you adjust conference system so equivalent to having international component (finals) for that then yes that would have opportunity to improve it.
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
Looking specifically at Australia, I think the current teams are the right teams to continue with in the immediate future, that is a domestic season based on the current 5 team, which would then be immediately followed by a Champions League format.

Split the Champions League as well, make it two tiers.. it serves no benefit to have teams like the Sunwolves and Rebels(sorry hate to say it) playing against teams like the Hurricanes.

I think that your idea is great. If anyone from rugby officialdom is monitoring G&GR, they should look at picking up on it and putting a proposal together.
 

WorkingClassRugger

Simon Poidevin (60)
Looking specifically at Australia, I think the current teams are the right teams to continue with in the immediate future, that is a domestic season based on the current 5 team, which would then be immediately followed by a Champions League format.

Split the Champions League as well, make it two tiers.. it serves no benefit to have teams like the Sunwolves and Rebels(sorry hate to say it) playing against teams like the Hurricanes.


Where would the Sunwolves and Jaguares play?
 

Ulrich

Nev Cottrell (35)
I agree with Dan54. We have many of the same problems here regarding the governance of our game and other politics as well.

What strikes me is that after last year's disastrous campaign by the national side the coaches got together, collaborated and there are some shared ideologies now.

Certain things are being coached which it never was, or never enough of it anyway.

While the teams from our shores are no world beaters, already I am enjoying rugby much more. In recent years for example, I cannot think of when last the Stormers scored 4 tries or more against decent opposition. They scored 5 and 4 now in rounds 1 and 2 respectively.

It is pleasing to watch and in time it creates new heroes for kids to aspire to when they play the game at age grade level they may start passing the pill now rather than bashing it up or kicking up-and-unders.

Yes, the Lions and Cheetahs look a fair bit ahead with their skills than the Bulls and Stormers (I think the Sharks are furthers behind - not counting the Kings), but there is a definite sense that there's a mental shift happening and if they keep at it it will come right.

See highlights, with the 3rd try the Cheetahs had a winger in the lineout in order to speed up the pass!


The Cheetahs moved the Bulls pack around over the weekend and played at a frenetic pace with some sublime handling. Sounds familiar? Yes, they played like the Reds of 2011. If a coach and a different mindset can effect this sort of change from a bunch of no-names then I concur that it is a coaching thing mostly.

That said, while we attempt to catch up with skills and conditioning I bet NZ are furthering theirs.

As for a suggestion I reckon looking to Europe is not such a bad idea. Drop the Sunwolves and the Kings and you'd have 4 pools of 4 each. Here's an example.
See pools here as an example.

pools.JPG


The seeds could be determined by the domestic results within each country. Home and away matches for each in each group with the first 2 of each progressing to the main QF. Positions 3 and 4 of each group drop to a "Second tier" QF.

The only drawback is that any group with the Jaguares faces a tougher travel schedule and not everyone get to play an Argentine side. Still better as opposed to the current format where SA sides alternate year-on year whether they'll be playing AUS or NZ sides for the year. The Lions for example will only play AUS sides this year which may (without trying to be degrading) leave them undercooked if they qualify and need to face the Kiwis. As was the case with the Stormers last year.

In Group A for example, the Cheetahs could complete their away fixtures in rounds 1 - 3, get back home and wait for the return fixtures or complete their home fixtures and then travel.

At the end the respective winners of each (Main finals winners and second tier finals winners) can compete in a one-off cup game on its own to draw some extra revenue.

There will be less games played so a better domestic product is a possibility, especially considering the importance it may have on group placement.

Perhaps not the best solution, but we ensure NZ and SA always play one another (Even if everyone does not necessarily play everyone) which keeps us happy and it will force stronger investment into a domestic comp by Aus. Further, Aus and SA will still have something to play for even if walloped by the Kiwis.
 
T

TOCC

Guest
Where would the Sunwolves and Jaguares play?

In the Champions League..

If you're asking where would they play in the respective domestics competition, well in the case of Argentina it presents them a window and an opportunity to establish their own domestic comp and for Japan, it allows them to shift the Top League back to the previous dates.

Australian Rugby needs to put itself first, a domestic season provides the content and scheduling that the broadcasters want. Waratahs heading off too South Africa for close to 3 weeks after barely 1 round of Super Rugby is a PR and marketing vacuum, it sucks the life out of the comp and fans lose interest.
 

Rugbynutter39

Steve Williams (59)
In the Champions League..

If you're asking where would they play in the respective domestics competition, well in the case of Argentina it presents them a window and an opportunity to establish their own domestic comp and for Japan, it allows them to shift the Top League back to the previous dates.

Australian Rugby needs to put itself first, a domestic season provides the content and scheduling that the broadcasters want. Waratahs heading off too South Africa for close to 3 weeks after barely 1 round of Super Rugby is a PR and marketing vacuum, it sucks the life out of the comp and fans lose interest.

Yes unfortunately Oz needs to look after own interests as otherwise we are sacrificing too much to support growing professional game in other Countries re: Japan and Argentina. We are hence effectively probably with Japan suggesting that more likely top X teams from Top League get selected for Champions League (and Sunwolves get desolved). While for Argentina it sucks as Jaguares was about providing professional opportunities for Argentina players so they would not have to ply their trade in Europe for professional opportunities. Jaguares would lose out unless perhaps they could be part of expanded domestic professional competition for North America or something.

Lot to think about how this could possibly be workable. As 5 oz sides alone with home and away fixtures would not sustain a professional competition in Oz. So is it case of being more creative and hence having first 5 oz domestic home and away games as Part 1 where based on that determines seedings for Champions League where all get to participate but where you say are in top 2 of your conference you get to participate in the Champions league versus in bottom 3 you get to participate in the Champions Cup. Sunwolves I could see being disbanded as they have Top League which would then see top x teams able to participate and could have less spots for them like you see in Football in Europe where strong football nations get more spots allocated. Jaguares unfortunately no immediate solution but rather they should be part of a North American Domestic Professional League. Could have joined the Pro Rugby competition if it continued but that looks less likely now.
 

dru

Nick Farr-Jones (63)
I dont think a Champions League system is effective against a representational system. These two quotes from Wiki give an idea of what I'm saying:

"When the Super 12 was launched in 1996, both Australia and New Zealand created franchise-based models for their teams in the new tournament. South Africa however, used the previous seasons Currie Cup to determine what provinces would be promoted to the new international tournament."

"For the 1998 season SA Rugby changed the Currie Cup qualification process for the Super 12, following Australia and New Zealand by forming provincial franchises"

The performance of SA cc teams didnt match the franchise systems.

The problem with a franchise system in SA was the number of teams didnt suit the natural break up of SA (a reason NZ does not want a 6th team) and basic politics. PC issues around the franchises continues to hamper logical frachise team names in NZ to this day.

In the Champions League, talent will drift to the bigger teams and ultimately create a "haves" and "have nots". Just check the last 10 years of SA Currie Cup to see what I mean. Or look to Sydney rugby with the SRU vs subbies history.

@TOCC, no system is perfect, and perhaps a Champions League is the best available scenario. I'm uncomfortable with it, but nowhere near as uncomfortable as with the current Super dog's breakfast.
 

Rugbynutter39

Steve Williams (59)
I dont think a Champions League system is effective against a representational system. These two quotes from Wiki give an idea of what I'm saying:

"When the Super 12 was launched in 1996, both Australia and New Zealand created franchise-based models for their teams in the new tournament. South Africa however, used the previous seasons Currie Cup to determine what provinces would be promoted to the new international tournament."

"For the 1998 season SA Rugby changed the Currie Cup qualification process for the Super 12, following Australia and New Zealand by forming provincial franchises"

The performance of SA cc teams didnt match the franchise systems.

The problem with a franchise system in SA was the number of teams didnt suit the natural break up of SA (a reason NZ does not want a 6th team) and basic politics. PC issues around the franchises continues to hamper logical frachise team names in NZ to this day.

In the Champions League, talent will drift to the bigger teams and ultimately create a "haves" and "have nots". Just check the last 10 years of SA Currie Cup to see what I mean. Or look to Sydney rugby with the SRU vs subbies history.

@TOCC, no system is perfect, and perhaps a Champions League is the best available scenario. I'm uncomfortable with it, but nowhere near as uncomfortable as with the current Super dog's breakfast.



I would love it if we could have NRC type format expanded as our long form professional competition. But could we could not sustain a long format professional league 8 team format. Not at this point I would have thought unless creative of who we could include perhaps outside of it. Bit like NRL has warriors, maybe Sunwolves could add something with TV money as Sunwolves may be woeful but commercially attractive potential with Japanese audience and if can improve them).

I don't have a clear answer in my head. In ideal world if we could sustain our own domestic professional league with a Champions League format attached that would be the ideal. But with only 5 teams how would that sustain a professional league as would need at least 8 teams to be commercially sustainable with home and away matches and finals. Be interesting to see what comes out of SANZAAR as unless really rejig conference system so have more domestic league focus for Oz I can't see Super Rugby offering any saviour to our current ills that is OZ rugby.
 

Ulrich

Nev Cottrell (35)
I would love it if we could have NRC type format expanded as our long form professional competition. But could we could not sustain a long format professional league 8 team format. Not at this point I would have thought unless creative of who we could include perhaps outside of it. Bit like NRL has warriors, maybe Sunwolves could add something with TV money as Sunwolves may be woeful but commercially attractive potential with Japanese audience and if can improve them).

I don't have a clear answer in my head. In ideal world if we could sustain our own domestic professional league with a Champions League format attached that would be the ideal. But with only 5 teams how would that sustain a professional league as would need at least 8 teams to be commercially sustainable with home and away matches and finals. Be interesting to see what comes out of SANZAAR as unless really rejig conference system so have more domestic league focus for Oz I can't see Super Rugby offering any saviour to our current ills that is OZ rugby.

Australia should look to add 3 teams to their current 5 SR teams for domestic purposes. Yes, you will have 4-5 stronger teams and 3 weaker, but televised correctly you could have a very decent league.

I know Union is not the most representative of sports in Ausralia, but if you included everyone and invested some moola into rugby in these regions and promoted it (at a loss initially) your game would grow five-fold at least. Australia are known to be very competitive and if you could launch union (which is much more of a global game) above the rest of your sports you would be set.

NZ has 5-6 million people I think? Yes, they live and breathe RU, but with a population of 20 million or so Aus ought to match them at least or very nearly match them. There is nothing other than politics hindering your development.
 

p.Tah

John Thornett (49)
Rather than dissolving the Sunwolves, they could become a rep side for the Top League that joins the championship league when the finals are on.

a bit harder to do it with the Jaguars unless they develop a domestic comp.
 

Ulrich

Nev Cottrell (35)
Seems like you guys are looking for any solution as long as it does not include playing better rugby.
 
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Rugbynutter39

Steve Williams (59)
Australia should look to add 3 teams to their current 5 SR teams for domestic purposes. Yes, you will have 4-5 stronger teams and 3 weaker, but televised correctly you could have a very decent league.

I know Union is not the most representative of sports in Ausralia, but if you included everyone and invested some moola into rugby in these regions and promoted it (at a loss initially) your game would grow five-fold at least. Australia are known to be very competitive and if you could launch union (which is much more of a global game) above the rest of your sports you would be set.

NZ has 5-6 million people I think? Yes, they live and breathe RU, but with a population of 20 million or so Aus ought to match them at least or very nearly match them. There is nothing other than politics hindering your development.

Actually it is competition from League, AFL and Football in this country which makes it hard to add 3 teams. Would require some more broader changes in the product to attract greater following.
 

WorkingClassRugger

Simon Poidevin (60)
In the Champions League..

If you're asking where would they play in the respective domestics competition, well in the case of Argentina it presents them a window and an opportunity to establish their own domestic comp and for Japan, it allows them to shift the Top League back to the previous dates.

Australian Rugby needs to put itself first, a domestic season provides the content and scheduling that the broadcasters want. Waratahs heading off too South Africa for close to 3 weeks after barely 1 round of Super Rugby is a PR and marketing vacuum, it sucks the life out of the comp and fans lose interest.


I agree about the need for domestic content. But it's the overall structure it could take to be workable is probably the biggest issue. While Argentina does have the basic structures to create their own domestic an overarching theme I hear from many Argentines is there simply isn't the money or will to turn either their clubs or provincial squad professional.

Even if you could work with the Top League the Argentina issue would make it hard to resolve.

I do know they are keen for a 2nd franchise either based in Argentina or elsewhere in Sth America and there's speculation the Wild Knights want in as well.
 

p.Tah

John Thornett (49)
Of course we're not looking for a solution at the expense of good rugby. Playing better rugby is the ultimate. Short term view is that Oz will play better rugby if we consolidate the teams to 3.
Long term view is that if we keep 5 teams it provides more pathways. Great athletes just don't grow in NSW, QLD and the ACT. At the moment that's where our rugby players come from but that is simply because that's where the established pathways are currently.

We've put over 10 years investment into pro rugby in WA and 7 years into Rebels. Results to date have been disappointing because NSW, ACT and QLD can't produce enough players for 5 teams with the current pathways.

The Force and Rebels haven't been around long enough for a true generation of born and bred WA and Victorian players to establish themselves in the pro ranks. However junior State comps and U20s indicates there is improvement.

It's tough. Super Rugby shouldn't be a development league. If that's the case then the Sunwolves and the Jaguars shouldn't be there either.
I don't want the Force or the Rebels to be cut. Too much work and investment has been put into them to cut them adrift. We are making in roads into those Rugby 'frontiers'. Attend a junior gala day in one of those states to see the potential.
In Australia the AFL persisted with the Bears/Lions and the Swans and that paid off. They're doing it again with the Giants and the Suns. NRL did it with the Storm.
Short term cutting teams may give the perception of an improvement in performance, but long term it would be a bad move to retreat. We cut a team, all the good will and work will be undone and we won't be able to go back there.
 

Braveheart81

James Horwill (77)
Staff member
I completely agree that Super Rugby in its current format is a basket case. I think the intention was to use the expansion to 18 teams are a stepping stone to going bigger next time and then split the comp into meaningful conferences with a more sensible draw.

The problem is that the expansion to 18 teams has failed so it is hard to continue with it. The Sunwolves and Kings aren't close to being up to scratch and the form of Australian teams has dropped away substantially.

I really don't see an exit from Super Rugby unless it is to form a Trans Tasman comp. Australia doesn't have the teams nor the rugby market to go it alone and the quality of the competition would not be adequate to attract overseas dollars for the TV rights that will be critical to any competition we are part of. We have to leverage off the fact that rugby is growing globally and there is a market for high quality rugby. If we are largely limited to what Australian broadcasters are willing to offer it will never get off the ground.

The biggest problem with an Australian only league is that I think it is a fast track to us losing competitiveness globally. The revenue the game generates is largely because we have maintained a top four ranking (and for large amounts of time a top two ranking). If we slipped down the rankings and couldn't fix it I see the ability of the Wallabies to draw in the required revenue sliding substantially.
 

WorkingClassRugger

Simon Poidevin (60)
I completely agree that Super Rugby in its current format is a basket case. I think the intention was to use the expansion to 18 teams are a stepping stone to going bigger next time and then split the comp into meaningful conferences with a more sensible draw.

The problem is that the expansion to 18 teams has failed so it is hard to continue with it. The Sunwolves and Kings aren't close to being up to scratch and the form of Australian teams has dropped away substantially.

I really don't see an exit from Super Rugby unless it is to form a Trans Tasman comp. Australia doesn't have the teams nor the rugby market to go it alone and the quality of the competition would not be adequate to attract overseas dollars for the TV rights that will be critical to any competition we are part of. We have to leverage off the fact that rugby is growing globally and there is a market for high quality rugby. If we are largely limited to what Australian broadcasters are willing to offer it will never get off the ground.

The biggest problem with an Australian only league is that I think it is a fast track to us losing competitiveness globally. The revenue the game generates is largely because we have maintained a top four ranking (and for large amounts of time a top two ranking). If we slipped down the rankings and couldn't fix it I see the ability of the Wallabies to draw in the required revenue sliding substantially.


Strangely enough I actually think another significant expansion could be one of the few options that could get us out of the current mess. I think TOCC is on the right track regarding his proposed format but in order to do that we have to add at least a few more. Particularly in the Americas. While the Sunwolves have struggled I still see value in their presence. As I do if the Wild Knights do in fact want to make a bid.

I think we need to make the jump from 18 to 24 and run four 6 team conferences. It's a big jump but one that may be needed strangely enough. This would give each of us 10 weeks on inter conference play before doing as TOCC suggests and splitting the competition in two. A Cup and a Challenge. You could then further split both into two pools of 6 to keep the number of games played by each franchise to 15.
 

Rugbynutter39

Steve Williams (59)
Strangely enough I actually think another significant expansion could be one of the few options that could get us out of the current mess. I think TOCC is on the right track regarding his proposed format but in order to do that we have to add at least a few more. Particularly in the Americas. While the Sunwolves have struggled I still see value in their presence. As I do if the Wild Knights do in fact want to make a bid.

I think we need to make the jump from 18 to 24 and run four 6 team conferences. It's a big jump but one that may be needed strangely enough. This would give each of us 10 weeks on inter conference play before doing as TOCC suggests and splitting the competition in two. A Cup and a Challenge. You could then further split both into two pools of 6 to keep the number of games played by each franchise to 15.

I think that is key - giving inter conference play - at least for oz conference. for a sustained period. Then perhaps a champions league and cup style format based on results of interconference play. So teams of you say. Who would you add to Oz conference.

I have no doubt btw that eventual further round of expansion was on the cards to make conferences more sensible. However, I think with 18 team current conference format and how fallen away and not been successful the chances of expansion right now I would say are not high if not zero.
 

p.Tah

John Thornett (49)
WCR - Regarding a Northern US super rugby conference, can anything be salvaged from the Pro Rugby USA set up (obviously without the CEO).
 

Inside Shoulder

Nathan Sharpe (72)
Strangely enough I actually think another significant expansion could be one of the few options that could get us out of the current mess. I think TOCC is on the right track regarding his proposed format but in order to do that we have to add at least a few more. Particularly in the Americas. While the Sunwolves have struggled I still see value in their presence. As I do if the Wild Knights do in fact want to make a bid.

I think we need to make the jump from 18 to 24 and run four 6 team conferences. It's a big jump but one that may be needed strangely enough. This would give each of us 10 weeks on inter conference play before doing as TOCC suggests and splitting the competition in two. A Cup and a Challenge. You could then further split both into two pools of 6 to keep the number of games played by each franchise to 15.
Theres a fair argument that we should drop back to 3 teams.
In the past comps where teams split into higher and lower levels mid way through a season have only captured the imagination of the really rusted on supporters. It takes too much research and concentration to follow where your team is at.
If we stay at 5 then we get the japanese team presumably: thats not a ratings or performance winner for rugby in this country.
At 4 we need another team - one of the island nations? unlikely to drive revenue and their best players are elsewhere, as I understand it.
Head back to Super 15 and we have 3 teams and SA and NZ can each have 6.
That is the best hope for rugby in this country.
 

Omar Comin'

Chilla Wilson (44)
The biggest problem with an Australian only league is that I think it is a fast track to us losing competitiveness globally. The revenue the game generates is largely because we have maintained a top four ranking (and for large amounts of time a top two ranking). If we slipped down the rankings and couldn't fix it I see the ability of the Wallabies to draw in the required revenue sliding substantially.

Is it a good thing that the strength of rugby in this country is so reliant on the success of one team that plays 6 matches in Australia each year? Would anyone argue that rugby is stronger in Australia than it is in France? I don't think anyone could do it with a straight face, yet the Wallabies have been better than France at test rugby for a long time.

I think given the growth and increasing competitiveness of international rugby that it's just not realistic to expect the Wallabies to maintain a consistent top 2 or top 4 ranking over the long term. Rugby in this country has to get to a point where it can still be strong even if the Wallabies go through bad patches.
 
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