Mehrtens: Time for SA to go

Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:34
Large andrew mehrtens zap.jpg630

Andrew Mehrtens believes that the future of rugby should grow along provincialism and tribal lines, intending a separation of Australasian rugby from South Africa.

Andrew Mehrtens believes that the future of rugby should grow along provincialism and tribal lines, intending a separation of Australasian rugby from South Africa.
 
The former All Black flyhalf's primary argument is that the time-zones and travelling distance are playing havoc with public interest within different regions in Super Rugby. 
 
Mehrtens has noted that games played in South Africa which are broadcasted in the early hours of the morning are not drawing the same interest as local derbies in New Zealand and Australia.
 
Perhaps the way forward for South African teams would be an alignment with the European clubs, similar time zones would allow for interest in both regions to be peaked - according to Mehrtens.
 
However, a consideration is that the European Professional Club Rugby organisation has very recently been formed, consolidating  the European competition.
 
As such, it would be foolish to believe that South Africa would be welcomed in with open arms.
 
Mehrtens is looking for Australia and New Zealand to align themselves with Japan and the Pacific Islands - once again to keep within similar time-zones.
 
In all actuality, the IRB would be the one to decide on a matter of this magnitude and at present they are more focused on gaining a consensus on a global international window.
 
"I can't help thinking we might have lost a little interest in playing South African teams, and that ultimately the future of this competition might be more localised round time zones," Mehrtens said in a column for Fairfax NZ News.
 
"Where it's going to end up in 20 years' time is having competitions within time zones, and the sooner we get to that point the better for the development of the game.
 
"The logistics of involving South Africa are problematic – the travel and time difference – and maybe it would be better for all concerned just to play within our time zone and include teams from the Pacific Islands and Japan.
 
"Maybe there could still be post-season involvement with South Africa, but their natural alignment is more with the UK and Europe, in the same time zone.
 
"Any re-alignment, though, would need to be led by the IRB. If there's to be any form of consensus or consistency with a global international window, it has to come from them," he added.
There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19