Super Pay Cut
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.