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Super Rugby Expansion On The Cards?

January 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

It seems as if SARU’s ineptitude has paid off and that SANZAR will pull their nuts out of the fire.

The expansion of the Super Rugby competition from 2016 is on the cards with a good chance of a sixth SA franchise being included, if one considers the recent utterings in the media by SANZAR boss, Greg Peters, and a decision will apparently made later this year.

From Business Day on 18 January:

In line with this, Peters was aware South Africa would require six franchises in future to alleviate the problem of trying to squeeze six teams into five spots and to ensure Sanzar’s transformation objectives were met by accommodating the Southern and Eastern Cape franchise on a long-term basis.

“We don’t have a closed mind to another South African franchise,” he said.

“We know that it is imperative to South Africa to have six teams and we are giving that consideration.”
http://www.bdlive.co.za/sport/rugby/2013/01/18/super-rugbys-future-secure-says-sanzar-boss

But further expansion, into Asia and the Americas also seem to be on the cards. Quoted in Rugby Heaven this morning:

“We are considering whether or not we will include new territories in Super Rugby and one of the factors we’ll be weighing up is their competitiveness,” Peters told The Australian yesterday.

“Super Rugby in its present form is a pretty successful model … and we are not going to water it down. But we’d be derelict in our duty if we didn’t consider expanding into areas. The United States is a very big market and so is Japan and Asia generally. Ultimately it all comes down to what is in the best interests of the three SANZAR parties.”
http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-rugby/8218105/Super-Rugby-mulls-global-expansion-options

So, will we see a Super 18 or even a Super 21 from 2016?

The biggest problem with any expansion will be the accommodation of more teams, and weaker ones at that, in a already congested rugby programme and the only way I can see it working is if they convert the Super Rugby competition into a two-tier competition.

8 responses to Super Rugby Expansion On The Cards?

  1. I wouldn’t mind them expanding if they split the comp into 2 leagues.
    @ competitions each with 11 teams. The lowest 2 play promotion games. But I don’t want to watch the Sharks play against some team from America or Japan unless it’s a good competitive game

  2. Probably the same reason why half time was extended by 2 minutes, I am sure you can fit in a few more ad’s on tv.

  3. Well if they expand SR it will either have to become a two tier (as you said) or a group based (ie HeinekenCup) comp.

    Not sure how many Boks will then be left because just think about all the traveling these players have to do. But on the other hand it will mean bigger pay days for the players thus being able to lure better players.

    If I had a choice one feel we should tap the Japanese market those clubs funds seems to run very deep. And with all the talent they are buying they won’t be at to bad a standard.
    Not so sure about the USA though.

    • They could have two groups of 10 teams where each team plays one another then the top 3 teams of each group goes into a super 6 or something.
      Could be interesting.

      • The problem is that you will still have very weak sides playing strong sides whereas a two-tier system eliminates that. You want to see the strong sides man up against each other.

    • There’s so much money floating around in sport in the USA and their spectator numbers for their popular sports are huge, which makes them an ideal market to promote the game to. There shouldn’t be much of a problem to pull crowds of 10k plus (similar to the Kiwi crowds and the European rugby crowds) to games once it is promoted.

      The big thing will be to get TV exposure, that’s where the money is.

      FYI:

      2012 Super Rugby ave attendance: 21,807 (non-SA matches: 18,326)
      2011-2012 Top 14 ave attendance: 14,024
      2011-2012 Aviva Premiership ave attendance: 12,145
      2011-2012 Pro 12 ave attendance: 7,721
      2011-2012 Heineken Cup ave attendance: 14,837
      2011-2012 Amlin Challenge Cup ave attendance: 5,142

  4. I think they are tampering too much with something succesfull. Why try to fix something thats not broken? There are already too many teams in the super comp, and this current system doesnt work in my opinion, and I think most people will agree. The season is just too long and the players’ bodies wont make it.

    Super rugby should be made up of the strongest 4 teams in SA, NZ and Aus. And then they all play each other once. This system with all the local derbies doesnt help the SA teams at all.

    So in SA, I think the 4 teams that qualify for the semi finals of the currie cup should have an entry to super rugby. That means that one big team will fall out every year, but so be it. It’ll also add some necessary spice to the curry cup

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