Fewer teams in Super Rugby reshuffle?

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 07:56
Large super rugby trophy with team logos 800

NEWS: Australia and South Africa would lose one team each under a potential new streamlined 16-team Super Rugby model under consideration.

The Southern Hemisphere-based tournament was only expanded this year to 18 teams with the addition of new sides from Argentina, Japan and South Africa.

But the report said new models were already being investigated, with one option being to drop two teams, one each from Australia and South Africa.

Another proposal would see South Africa losing two teams while yet another model involves expanding the tournament, as officials tinker with ways to improve the geographically stretched competition.

The review for governing body SANZAAR, which is being conducted by consultants Accenture, is still some months from settling on a preferred structure, Fairfax Media said.

It said Accenture have completed a consultation process with 28 stakeholders, including the 18 current teams, the national unions from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Japan, plus the host broadcaster from each country.

"Sources close to the discussions stressed that a number of different models were being discussed," the newspaper said.

"But Fairfax Media understands the Australian Rugby Union board spent time at its meeting last week discussing the possibility that the preferred structure would require Australia to surrender one of its Super Rugby licences in time for the 2018 season."

Fairfax Media said the SANZAAR board, which comprises the chief executives and chairmen of the joint venture partners Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina, hopes to see a recommended model over the coming months, with a final structure and timeline agreed by the end of this year.

"Such a model would return the tournament to a more workable 16-team, four-conference format," it said.

Fairfax Media said the Perth-based Western Force or the Melbourne Rebels would most likely be in the firing line as the Australian franchise to be dumped.

ARU CEO Bill Pulver said everything was open for discussion, but it was unlikely changes would be made until the end of the 2020 television broadcast deal.

"Everything is on the table," Pulver told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

"The broadcast agreement is from 2016-20, so that's the most likely time we're looking at."

A SANZAAR spokesman told AFP: "It's all speculation at present. We are in middle of the SANZAAR strategic plan review process with Accenture.

"As publicly stated the 10-year review is looking at all options in terms of tournament formats, commercial opportunities and governance."

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
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