Super Pay Cut

November 3, 2012 in SANZAR, Springboks, Superrugby

An interesting article in the New Zealand Herald has made me sit up and take notice, you may view the article here:

Basically what it entails, is the possibility of South Africa joining France and England in a new ”Super” Rugby competition, should South Africa defect from Superrugby and England and France leave the Heineken Cup as they have been threatening to do in 2014. The benefits of such a move is innumerable:

Firstly, South Africa, England and France represent the largest paying rugby populace in the world, the financial benefits for the administrators and players alike would be immense. The sheer amount of viewers that would be added to fold, would easily dwarf the 5000 type crowds one comes to expect from NZ and Aussie games.

Secondly, travelling, travelling fatigue and jet-lag excuses, would be a thing of the past, as the three countries are but a couple of hours behind one-another, schedules would be much easier to accommodate. Seeing as rugby has evolved from its earlier winter-based roots, and is now basically played all year round, logistics should be basically a non-factor.

Thirdly, and this may perhaps be the clincher, player losses to Northern Hemisphere competitions would basically become non-existent, SA will then share in that capital, and Springbok coaches would suddenly have the luxury of access to at least 30 other South African players, playing in English and French teams, measured against South Africa’s current crop, which basically erases the whole foreign player debate, and extends the player pool by quite a bit.

Let’s face it, by and large, South Africa is bankrolling SANZAR, we have more TV Viewers, more physical spectators, and better facilities overall, yet Australia and new Zealand are calling the shots, which is ridiculous in any sense of the word.

Obviously the Rugby Championship would remain, because its already on more level footing after the introduction of Argentina, which added to the proposed England/France scenario, will allow players to play globally, in absolutely every conceivable weather/pitch condition available, imagine the value of those experiences for a player.

Defending Superrugby against a England/France coalition, would take some doing, and would basically count more on tradition and romanticism, than anything else. Should the Heineken debacle reach a stalemate, and some paperwork be exchanged between SA/France/England, the antipodes would do well to reconsider their SANZAR relationship and approach South Africa cautiously. The loss of South African revenue within SANZAR, could well be disastrous for the former allies.

13 responses to Super Pay Cut

  1. Great Stuff, just need to work on the look…

  2. Interesting! I’d be delighted if this happened. I am sick and tired of SA Rugby pumping more than 50% of the money into SANZAR and only getting 30% back. We should look at it and try and be involved in both. 3 Super Rugby teams and 3 teams playing in a European comp. This will also solve the 6 into 5 franchises problem. It will also open up some space for an Argentinian and Pacific Island franchises to replace the SA ones that go North.

  3. Would be good for SA rugby but do not think SANZAR would allow the Boks to play in the Rugby Championship but no SR.

    Nz and Aus needs the money from super sport.

    Maybe they won’t have a choice?

    Lets see what happens.

  4. The question is, would they really have a choice? Without SA, there can only be the piss-poor Bledisloe Cup, with half-full stadia, unless they feel that they can supplement their income via Japan and Argentina, but that being said, who’d pay for a test ticket, to watch that?

  5. Only way to do it is to go all in. Either way it goes, SA rugby wins. SARU should beat SANZAR into submission as we have been the whipping boys for far too long while funding the whole damn thing, or just walk into the most lucrative rugby deal ever. This would also eliminate SA losing players to Europe, as no-one cares to play in any antipodian local tournaments. SANZAR would be stupid to kick us out the RC as we attract the most rights and crowds there as well. SA wields alot of power in rugby, but still we suck up to the foreigners.

  6. the argument in favour of an alliance with the NH powerhouses is strong but they are weaker in the pecking order of rugby. playing them more often would mean weakening our game.

  7. @francisco, would it? I leaned toward staying in the Rugby Championship, but barring even that, the South African game is built around scrummaging and accurate tactical kicking, that has always been our game plan, like it or not. If we do it right, it even leads to spectacular tries, and scintillating back play. No matter which phase of Springbok Rugby you look at, our creed has always been, soften up up front, and hit from the back, and France and England play forward orientated rugby, I think it will better suit us in any case, at the end of the day, call it a national game-plan if you will.

    • Well, those game plans havent exactly helped france and england beat NZ and Aus has it? An average Aus has won their last 6 straight against france for instance. My feeling is that our standard of rugby will be stronger if we play NZ teams regularly, both domestically and internationally. That said, it might be nice to win the ‘7 nations’ a couple times ;)

      • Well, we aren’t really winning as much either, I do however feel we have the superior quality players, which would make the difference. That being said, i like where we are playing at the moment, SANZAR just need to come to the party, losing us for Superrugby is one thing, but I very much doubt if they would allow us to withdraw from the rugby-championship, maybe the Kings and the Lions would be able to play Superrugby together after all ;-)

  8. Don’t be too quick to dismiss the northern hemisphere teams as poorer than the south. Sure the national sides may not have the same sort of impact or firepower, but the domestic teams, especially in France, are a different story and the matches would prove very competitive.

    • And that’s where we will hone our game plan, in the domestic competition, I am not a fan of Heyneke Meyer, but he did talk about a uniform game-plan for South Africa, and I think that, without sacrificing each team’s individual traits, playing in Europe, in European conditions, would go a long way toward, at least imprinting some extra skill-sets…

  9. The sollution might then be end of year tours to NZ or Aus, where they play for example 2 tests against Aus and 3 against NZ. Or 4 to 5 against just one of them. And in alternating years or for the Autumn tours they can tour in SA.

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