Spies backs calls for global season

Thu, 29 Aug 2013 14:32
Large pierrespiesboktraining9 Large pierre spies bulls charges Large pierre spies  bulls cv king Large pierrespiesloftus

Bulls captain Pierre Spies says he is in favour of a global rugby season which would see the Super Rugby competition finish earlier in the year.

Bulls captain Pierre Spies says he is in favour of a global rugby season which would see the Super Rugby competition finish earlier in the year.

The subject has been the focus of much speculation with the current SANZAR agreement set to expire in 2015, and Spies added his voice to the calls for the entire season to be restructured.

"I would like the competition [Super Rugby] to finish before the start of the international season," Spies said in Midrand on Thursday.

"If you can put all your focus into the Super Rugby season, and get it done with, then have four weeks of preparations to start with your Test season and finish around the end of October."

The national teams would then go straight into their preparations for the year-end Test matches, he said.

"There has been talk of a global schedule, and I am in favour of it."

Spies' comments followed reports about proposed changes to the Super Rugby format for 2016.

A suggested change from the current three-conference format, splitting it into a two-conference model, had been mooted.

The two conferences would consist of Australia and New Zealand in one, with South Africa and possibly Argentina in the other.

This proposal would accommodate both the Lions' and the Southern Kings' inclusion in the competition.

The Kings' entry into the 2013 Super Rugby season, at the expense of the Lions, was a controversial solution to incorporating the Eastern Cape into top-flight rugby.

Following the two-leg, promotion-relegation matches, the Lions will be included in the 2014 season with the Kings missing out.

Spies said there was a case for two separate teams to play in Super Rugby and Currie Cup.

"The reality is that your Springbok players aren't playing in Currie Cup, even though it is South Africa's flagship competition. It is becoming more of a talent developer," he said.

"The focus should go more into Super Rugby and you should have two squads again."

The Springbok No.8 said he would also be in favour of suggestions to expand the Currie Cup back to an eight-team competition.

The Currie Cup changed to a six-team format in 2012 and, reverting back to the previous model could be a solution to incorporating the Kings into a top-tier competition.

"It is a great competition for your youngsters to play and that is the way it should be," Spies said.

"It wouldn't affect the top players and expanding it may give more players the opportunity at a higher level."

Spies had some encouraging words for the Blue Bulls, who suffered a 62-23 defeat by the Lions over the weekend.

"The Bulls have to look deep within themselves to get a good result," said Spies, who has been sidelined since he tore his biceps against Samoa in June.

"They can turn it around if they can beat the Sharks and get back on track."

The Pretoria side drew their first-round Currie Cup match against Western Province in Cape Town and narrowly beat Griquas the following week, before the Lions' demolition.

"We got the draw at Newlands, which showed we have a young team, but we are talented and we can do it," he said.

"It showed that we can win away from home. The players should bank on their talent and the structures at the Bulls."

SAPA

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 October 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Kings 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 AJ Bell Stadium
Ospreys v Dragons 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Munster 19h35 Sportsground
Sat, 28 October 2017
Australia v Barbarians 04h00 Sydney
Saracens v London Irish 14h00 Allianz Park
Treviso v Edinburgh 14h00 Stadio Monigo
Harlequins v Worcester Warriors 14h00 Twickenham
Northampton Saints v Wasps 14h00 Franklin's Gardens
Sharks v Western Province 15h00 Durban
Ulster v Leinster 17h15 Kingspan Stadium
Scarlets v Cardiff Blues 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Zebre v Cheetahs 19h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Sun, 29 October 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers 14h00 Kingston Park
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28