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The new Super Rugby: 2016 and onwards

Written by Stephen Smith (StevieS)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions, Super Rugby on 27 Aug 2013 at 12:41
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

Reading the comments on Sharksworld and based on my own opinion Super Rugby is not so super anymore! It would seem that SANZAR missed the plot when they moved away from the Super 14, with some even arguing that they shouldn’t have moved away from Super 12!

Now there is talk that post-2015 we must add Argentinean teams, Japanese teams and even a Fijian and a Samoan team to the mix. The idea excites me and causes dread in equal measure.

I’m excited because we’ll get new blood into the competition with new styles of rugby, new venues and new players. The dread comes in in that we’ll have an even longer season with even weaker teams and more of those Aussie derbies!!!

My solution is simple; we adopt a Heineken Cup and European Championship format as follows;

· Add an Argentinean team, a Samoan team, a Fijian team and a Japanese team to the existing teams with the Kings/Lions being included permanently (not sure yet which one, if either, of those teams will be playing Super Rugby in 2015).
· The competition is split into two, with the top ten ranked teams in the Super Rugby Premiership and the bottom ten teams, including all the newcomers and the bottom 5 teams from Super Rugby 2015, all playing in the Super Rugby Challenge.
· Teams play each other once in their respective competitions as used to happen in Super Rugby.
· At the end of the season the top four teams contest the semifinals, top two move onto the final. This is the same as the old Super Rugby format.
· The top 2 teams i.e. the finalists of the Super Rugby Challenge, automatically qualify to compete in the Super Rugby Premiership and the bottom two teams in the Super Rugby Premiership move down to the Super Rugby Challenge.

Advantages of this system:

· Every week will be exciting as your team has to win to gain promotion/avoid relegation.
· Your team, if a weaker team, will compete against teams of equal strength, leading to more entertaining matches.
· Less games per season for each team, but more games on a weekend, will lead to a shorter season, longer playing careers and more entertainment for the fans.
· No more derbies every second weekend!!!
· Super Rugby taps into the rich Japanese market leading to increased sponsorships and the ability to retain top players.
· Argentina, Japan, Samoa and Fiji become more competitive on the international stage as their players compete at a higher level on a weekly basis.

Disadvantages of this system:

· Your team might never reach the Premiership!
· You may not face some teams for years due to the format.

For me this format would be exciting and would make me want to watch every game. What do you think?


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