Super expansion surfaces again

Fri, 09 Aug 2013 08:33
Large bill pulver h s Large super rugby trophy 630 Large bill pulver ball Large bill pulver630

The prospect of a Super Rugby expansion has resurfaced in the Australia media, who are obsessed with their trans-Tasman alliance.

The prospect of a Super Rugby expansion has resurfaced in the Australia media, who are obsessed with their trans-Tasman alliance.

According to the most recent reports in the Aussie media Super Rugby series could be expanded to an 18-team competition in 2016, with the possibility of including sides from Argentina and Japan, The Australian newspaper reported on Friday.

The three SANZAR countries - South Africa, New Zealand and Australia who each currently provide five teams - are discussing potential models for the competition, the paper quoted the Australian Rugby Union as saying.

The beginning of a new broadcast agreement in 2016 will give SANZAR the chance to expand the competition for the third time in 10 years, the paper said.

But South Africa's desire to field six teams could result in an 18-team competition to maintain the three conferences, it added.

It is unlikely Australia or New Zealand would have the depth to field another team but teams from Argentina, Japan or the United States could play in the Australian and New Zealand conferences to even up the numbers, The Australian said.

"There is some demand to have six South African teams beyond 2016. If Super Rugby was to go to Super 17 or 18, that's one model we are looking at," ARU chief executive Bill Pulver was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

"There are some other models that include different structures from the African side and the Australasian side.

"They are still in development. No decisions have been made. We are targeting to have a clear decision on that by the end of the year."

Argentina already compete with the three SANZAR nations in the Rugby Championship, which was effectively an expansion of the Tri-Nations.

Pulver said it was possible that the Australian conference would consider foreign expansion teams.

"The advent of Super Rugby over the last 18 years has been a wonderful development for rugby in the Southern Hemisphere. We want to keep improving it," he said.

"One of the options we are looking at is what is the perfect mix of teams and countries being represented.

"Part of that clearly is Argentina, who have been a wonderful addition to the Rugby Championship. They would be very enthusiastic about finding a way of getting into Super Rugby."

This season's Rugby Championship kicks off on August 17 when the Wallabies host the All Blacks in Sydney and South Africa face Argentina in Bloemfontein.


There are currently no matches being played
Wed, 07 October 2015
South Africa v United States 15h45 London
Namibia v Georgia 19h00 Exeter
Fri, 09 October 2015
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26