Super derbies to get the boot?

Fri, 13 Dec 2013 09:08
Large sanzar officials

SANZAR are hoping to finalise their plans for the restructuring of Super Rugby early in the new year, with local derbies shaping up as a bone of contention.

SANZAR are hoping to finalise their plans for the restructuring of Super Rugby early in the new year, with local derbies shaping up as a bone of contention.

With the current broadcast deal expiring at the end of next season, speculation is rife about the form that Super Rugby will take in 2016 and beyond.

At this stage the only certainty is that there will be six South African teams involved after SARU gained assurance from SANZAR in that regard, although it is unclear whether there will be any further expansion.

There have been suggestions that teams from Argentina, Japan and the Pacific Islands could join the party, although there is nothing concrete as yet.

One hot topic will be whether the current format, which features home and away local derbies, will be retained.

The reasoning behind this format is that local clashes draw bigger crowds, which in turn means more revenue.

However, New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief executive Steve Tew told Fairfax Media NZ that he is not convinced that doubling up on local derbies really does increase the viewership numbers.
 
"It appears looking at the numbers from this year's competition that we haven't increased the total number of people watching games, we've just moved them from some games to others," he said.

Tew said that the players themselves are certainly not big fans of the current demanding format, as the derbies are notoriously physical.
 
"If you ask the high performance guys and the players, they aren't enamoured with the idea of bashing each other up twice a year before they get together in an All Blacks side," he said.

The derbies are particularly tiresome in the South African conference, as all of the same players are involved in the latter stages of the Currie Cup as well.
 
"I think the Stormers and Sharks played each other something like five times this year and we don't want to get to the point where that's the case here. Although I think we have a much greater differentiation between our Super Rugby teams and our NPC teams," said Tew.

The NZRU chief said that while the way forward is unclear at the moment, there is major pressure to reach a conclusion that suits everyone as soon as possible.

"We are committed to getting this nailed early in the new year so we can present to the broadcasters on time, which is in June. Next time they meet they will almost lock themselves in a room and not come out until they've nailed it," he said.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 08h45 Melbourne
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9