The end of Super Rugby?

July 27, 2013
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Australia and New Zealand would form their own Australasian rugby competition under an alternative to Super Rugby being considered for 2016 and beyond.

SMH.com.au

Under one of three secret proposals being discussed among the SANZAR nations of Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, with input from Argentina, South Africa would splinter from the current Super Rugby tournament and form its own competition with at least six teams and, potentially, an Argentinian side.

The Australian and New Zealand provinces would form a second grouping and potentially welcome an Asian side to their competition in future seasons.

The proposal would take effect when the new broadcasting rights deal ticks over in 2016. SANZAR wants to have a decision agreed by the end of this year to give all parties enough time to plan under the new framework if one is agreed.

The push has been engineered by the South African Rugby Union, who have two teams, the Kings and Lions, locked in a hugely unpopular promotion-relegation battle to decide which one takes the conference’s fifth spot in Super Rugby next year. SARU wants to enlarge its permanent footprint to six teams, an increase that would render the conference system unworkable.

The Australian and New Zealand national unions were initially satisfied with the current format, subject to some smaller tweaks, but are understood to have been swayed by the potential benefits of the proposed model.

It is believed a trans-Tasman competition, even with the inclusion of an Asian team, could lead to more derbies, meaning more gate-takings for provinces and an enhanced domestic flavour in home markets, simpler time-zone considerations for broadcasters and less travel for players. The player-welfare issue has been simmering for some time as the Super Rugby and international seasons increasingly bleed into each other.

This year promises to be among the toughest yet for Test players, with a long Super Rugby season, the gruelling British and Irish Lions series, the Rugby Championship plus a third Bledisloe Cup match, and an extraordinary five-Test tour of Europe in November.

The proposed new model would not affect the Rugby Championship and is one of three options on the table. The alternatives are retaining the established conference system or expanding the competition further to Asia and the United States and Canada.

”The challenge is with a limited number of weeks in the year, how do you create a competition that has integrity in its structure, keeps everyone involved and satisfies the needs of the three main countries?” SANZAR chief Greg Peters said.

All parties are believed to be in favour of working out a solution that includes South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina, but SARU’s domestic political environment is proving the sticking point.

The Port Elizabeth-based Kings, who replaced the Lions in Super Rugby this year, face their Johannesburg-based opponents in the first of two promotion-relegation matches this weekend after just one season in the competition.

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41 Comments

  1. avatar Bekke says:
    July 27th, 2013 at 11:47 am

    100% bluffing. Oz and cheaters cannot survive without raping SARU for a lion share of SA gate-money. F them.
    On de udder hand: can we really tollerate 2 SA teams at the bottom of the log every year?? Just get rid of Lions franchise permanently and move on. And just imagine cheating French and English refs screwing our teams weekend after weekend…maybe better the devil we know.

  2. avatar Boertjie says:
    July 27th, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Putting up a fight for two SA teams
    that will alternate between 14th and
    15th on the S15 log?
    The S15 is shit as it is with not all
    teams playing one another.
    It seems that S15 in two sections is
    not even on the table.

  3. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    July 27th, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Yes let them try

    We all know RSA pumps in the most money into Supershit. I actually hope they do go on their own and fail so that they can crawl back and we can tell them :finger:

    Arrogant idiots.NZ don’t have the money and rugby is too small in Aus.

    Best players these days plays in Europe clubs so we would have a better competition going that route.

    I am fed-up with the tail wagging the dog in SANZAR.

    Any good business man will any ways tell NZ and Aus to :finger: if they come with this suggestion.

  4. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    July 27th, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Oom Boer, the only way is to go back to S14, give RSA, Aus and NZ each four team and Argies two.

    This will give the four teams in each country enough players in the pool so that we do not over play our top players and then we can have our CC back to full strength teams the same as NZ in their cup.

    For Aus, who cares!!

  5. avatar biltongbek says:
    July 27th, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I se one of two ways this can go, either have closed conferences where each country decides how many teams they want in their conference, those having more n just start a few weeks earlier, then top 2 or three teams from each conference go into a super 6 or 9 round robin.

    Or we split away and focus on building from 6 to 7 to 8 fully professional teams.

  6. avatar Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa says:
    July 28th, 2013 at 1:32 am

    The S15 must be an extension of the Currie cup with relegation and integrated CC and S15 season. So instead of us selecting the teams let the relegation do it. Best versus best if Griekwas or even a promoted Pumad make it then so be it.

    Initially I say fuck em but only if we have plan B. NZ are really have worrying finances but South Africa is seeing less and less supporters at stadiums as the WW recession bights into pockets.

  7. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 28th, 2013 at 4:21 am

    Jacques that’s pure ignorance… Australia vs NZ derbies in rugby league are some of the largest watched events of any sport… Australia does not ‘fail’ in any sport they do… this country is more sports mad than RSA in that even the women are nutso fans…

    This move if it were to eventuate would see NZ and Aus with the toughest comp in world rugby… and RSA languishing playing with either themselves, Argentina or in some sub par European league.

    I say good… fuck SARU and their pathetic demands for another shit RSA side in a comp that has reached it’s ceiling as it is with 5 sides per country.

  8. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    July 28th, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Bryce,

    “Australia vs NZ derbies in rugby league are some of the largest watched events of any sport”

    League is not rugby Bryce and attendance figures for the past few years does not lie.

    “Australia does not ‘fail’ in any sport they do”

    Never said that just said they are too small in rugby, without Supershit they have nothing, they tried an domestic competition and failed hugely.

    RSA still pulls they most fans through the gates and TV and that is what the investors are looking at. NZ and Aus will make the biggest mistake if they pull away from SANZAR and they know it.

    NZ rugby does not have money and they will not survive without the huge money bag from SANZAR.

    Super 15 2013 / Home Attendance

    Club Ave Total High Low
    Western Stormers 36,425 182,126 47,263 16,856
    Southern Kings 32,332 193,991 45,974 18,542
    Queensland Reds 31,962 223,733 38,404 26,709
    Northern Bulls 26,362 131,809 44,272 19,814
    Natal Sharks 21,679 108,393 28,272 10,652
    Cheetahs 20,142 140,993 32,220 14,560
    Auckland Blues 19,040 114,237 31,014 10,811
    New South Wales 15,651 109,556 21,817 11,206
    ACT Brumbies 14,450 86,700 20,027 11,300
    Canterbury Crusaders 14,336 71,679 17,264 11,500
    Waikato Chiefs 13,633 81,796 22,187 6,000
    Otago Highlanders 13,004 65,021 17,511 7,852
    Melbourne Rebels 11,998 59,991 13,179 10,333
    Western Force 11,937 59,685 12,784 10,198
    Wellington Hurricanes11,402 68,414 15,103 7,783

  9. avatar Aldo says:
    July 28th, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I say screw them. If they pull out we could then have a proper currie cup competition again, with less high intensity game for our top players, play the rugby championship and proper end of year tours. This could be a blessing in disguise, as our top players are playing way too much rugby.

    Bryce, if SARU is forced out, then so is the biggest tv investment in Sanzar. If New Zealand and Aus believe they can make the same amount of money without SA’s input, then I say good luck, wish you all the success in the world and I hope you make enough money. And then in 5 year’s time when they approach SARU with tails between the legs, I hope SARU has the balls to rejoin on their terms. Terms which should not include a sixth team. The Super rugby comp shouldnt be any bigger than 12 teams, but we should then have our cc competition firat and out semi finalists then plays super rugby, or the top3. Then no team can complain about not being included in the Super rugby comp, as all have a proper chance to qualify.

    But this is all talk, end of the day SARU will either give in and we will have play offs to decide our top 5 or the Aussies and NZ’ers will give in expand the allready over full competition. We need a wake up call, but so does Nz and Aus rugby about where the money comes from.

  10. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 28th, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Australians and NZ’ers (other than expats) do not watch RSA games nor do they wake up and watch RSA/NZ games… there is money in their viewership full stop.

    Foxsports (an Australian company) pays for the S15 and none of the above will change with RSA out and the old foe NZ in… in fact from an Aus perspective a comp with just the two countries will arguably increase this viewership… just like the most watched rugby tests namely the Bledisloe.

    Other than a few bucks the only loser here will be SARU and Springbok rugby with them stuck playing weak Argentinian provinces or some weak Euro comp whislt Aus and NZ play in the toughest comp in world rugby.

    Simple… I say give SARU the boot… Super 15 in it’s current form is the ceiling… adding another shite RSA team is ludicrous.

  11. avatar Craven says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Bryce, dem’s fighting words.

    You are usually very astute in your observations, but with this one I belive you are way off the mark.

    I have the 2012 viewership figures close to hand, so will use that illustrate a point.

    Looking at the top 20 most watched games on TV in superugby, 19 of the 20 involved SA teams, only one game in the top 20 involved two non-SA teams. Crusaders vs Blues in 12th place.

    Of the top 20 most watched games the combined Supersport viewership figures equaled 14,687,040, with Sky TV in second place on 737,180 and Foxsports thired with 369,509.

    Now take that Crusaders / Blues game in 12th place. SkyTV vieweship for that game equaled 274,400, while Foxsport viewership equaled 93,286 for that game. Supersport viewership equaled 373,299 which is MORE than the combined viewership figures in Aus and NZ for a game in NZ.

    Now the broadcast contract is signed on the back of viewership figures and this revenue is distributed between the SANZAR rugby unions, not according to viewership figures I might add, and this constitutes the biggest portion of Superugby revenue to these unions.

    Now please explain to me how Aus and NZ will be able to seel a product while losing most of their viewers and not feel the pinch financially?

    Are you seriously advocating that the game in Aus (and NZ for that matter) can survive poaching of their players if they lose most of their revenue from Superugby?8O

  12. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Craven I never said they’d not feel the pinch fiscally when losing that veiwership… I said the product will still be popular if not more so amongst Australians and NZ fans… one only has to look at how the Bledisloe shits all over the NZ/RSA or Aus/RSA or Aus/Arg or NZ/Arg 3N attendance and viewership figures.

    Losing RSA and having to play NZ teams will have little to no bearing on the quality of rugby produced by those two countries… the same cannot be said with the RSA scenario’s… and don’t bother suggestion thhe top NH comps are going to allow one team let alone six into their long eastablished leagues… not going to happen.

    RSA rugby quality will be the big losers here… not the other way around.

  13. avatar Craven says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Bryce, we are talking money here, not quality of product. If you claim that the Aus/NZ teams will be of better quality you will still not have the SA games which pull in the big numbers, hence less money.

    To be honest, it will be more than a pinch, and I do not give rugby in Aus more than 5 years before they will be on their knees financially without the current superugby money. Only way they will get that money back is to get bed with Japanese clubs and get them into superugby. If you think the SA teams are inferior….

    So much for a superior product.

  14. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Where does the money/numbers come from?
    Numbers: probably higher for games that can be watched at a decent hour by the majority of fans – where are these? SA and EU!?
    Aus/NZ will lose out on this time slot!

    Product: SA/Arg will not have the drawing card that Aus/NZ will have IMO.

    So all will lose on this!

  15. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 10:33 am

    There is no Australian sport that has ‘been on it’s knees financially’ from Australian Rules to Zorbing… such is the importance of sport in Australia.

    Rugby has been on the rise in Aus for the last 3 years spectator wise and it’s not waning… every ‘Folau’ type and his dog are now showing interest in crossing codes and are willing to take serious pay-cuts (as per the latest Benji Marshall)…

    Australia teams vs NZ teams as opposed to RSA teams vs Arg teams (and there won’t be more than 1 or 2 so kiss the other unions good-bye) or two/three RSA teams vs Portugal/Russia/Georgia…

    Nup the quality of RSA rugby will suffer hugely… Australian and NZ rugby… not at all…

    Aus vs NZ will remain the toughest provincial comp in the world…

  16. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 10:37 am

    RSA unions will be left with the CC and the old S15 teams will be fighting each other tooth and neck to try and get into alternate leagues/comps worldwide. More likely to signal their own downfall as their players leave in hordes (many to Australia and NZ… not just the NH)…

  17. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 10:44 am

    @bryce_in_oz:

    You may have the suoperior “product” but if you don’t have the numbers to sell it to…?

    In an ideal world (IMO) we expand the tournament: AUS/NZ/JAPAN/US & SA/EU/ARG? Best of the HC, Arg and SA in one pool for example and the top 6 fight it out for the final

  18. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Not going to happen JT… for the usual reasons like climate, being over-played and eating into test season.

    There is plenty of market here to ‘sell to’… Australians and NZ’ers hardly stay up to watch their own teams playing in the republic and never two RSA teams… their rivalry is second to none (particuarly with almost a 1/5th of NZ’er living in Aus)…

    But that’s not the concern… Australian and NZ are professional enough to make it work… and this extends to the might of Fox worldwide.

    The concern is the crumbs RSA will be left with… playing each other and some half-backed teams…

  19. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    @bryce_in_oz:

    IMO still a lose /lose situation for all involved.

  20. avatar Craven says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Sorry Bruce, without the current viewing numbers Superugby as a product is going nowhere, you have to realise that?

    Superugby is THE moneyspinner for SANZAR, where does this money come from? From the broadcast deals and the value of that is based on the viewership numbers the broadcasters can reach.

    IF you seriously for one minute believe that Fox is going to push the same money into a product that will lose more than 60% of it’s viewership just for the good of the game in Aus, you clearly do not understand modern business and profitability reporting to share holders.

    Yes the game in SA will suffer, but we will still have viewership numbers to sell, even if it is only local.

  21. avatar Brendon says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Bryce, I agree to some point with that you are saying. The Kiwis and Ozzies will make their own party work and its us who will suffer for a good while.

    What I dont understand is how seemingly smart men cannot see this extended Super Rugby model fading out fast due to a lack of interest.

    Except if its the Ozzie/Kiwi wish to have it gradually fade so they can hold their own party…

  22. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Craven/Shieldsy… in short it is SARU pushing for this split… not NZAR… they (NZAR)are happy with the current 5 teams each but want some tweaks/fine-tuning…

    SARU are realising they will not get a 6th team (which they damn well shouldn’t S15 has reached it’s celing) hence the noise but the difference being NZAR has made some real progress with a viable alternative should SARU continue… for some reason none of the RSA papers are reporting the actual situation as per the original article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

    http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/sanzar-considering-splitting-super-rugby-in-2016-20130726-2qpu8.html

    My standing remains… it will be the quality of South African rugby that will take a huge hit and they’ll never get their 6 teams or even half into a NH comp… but will be left playing substandard opponents whilst Aus and NZ will not.

  23. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    @bryce_in_oz:

    it says there are 3 options – what are the other 2?

  24. avatar Aldo says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Loss of income equals loss of quality players Bryce. Initially it wont happen, but over a period of 3 to 5 years the NZ and Aus stars will start looking abroad for big income. With more than half the viewers in SA, more than half the crowd in SA when looking over the last 3 years, this will mean massive cutbacks to the unions and players. You can shout all you want, but just as the quality of our rugby will suffer for lack of strong opposition, so will NZ/Aus for the lack of good income.

    All sides will lose out because of it, SARU needs to wake up and smell the roses, we do not have enough players for 6 teams, and NZ and Aus need to wake up, we bring the money, not them.

  25. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    1> Keep current format, but the tweaks/refining NZAR want to stream-line it more come into play…

    2> No 6th RSA team permitted SARU go their own way with Arg… NZAR go their own way…

    3> Including Arg into the current model…

    I’m presuming…

  26. avatar Craven says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    JUst out of interest, my take on it is that we do not have enough players in SA for 5 teams, nevermind 6. Just watching the current Lions/Kings play-off for the opportunity to end bottom of the log next year, and of course the opportunity to leach some more money to be misspent, makes me cringe.

    And the last 6 month’s worth of Superugby just reinforced what I started to feel last year, I am all super’d out, was before the international window already.

    If they cannot fit Superugby into three months, they should go back and try again until they do so. THat is about the longest the average fan can stand to invest into something like this.

  27. avatar Timeo says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    What made Falua switch to Union? What’s keeping Cooper in Union? What’s keeping Carter and McCaw in New Zealand?

    SA and EU TV money.

    Take it away and the quality and popularity of rugby in NZAR will suffer.

    Bok rugby will get better as our players will be in better shape without the travel load. NZAR won’t be able t afford the best SA players. They’ll go to Europe, which will be better for tthe Boks anyway.

    Cc will matter once more.

    I say heeehaaw. Bring it on.

    Fox is an American company:)

  28. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Timeo you’re dreaming on so many levels…

    Foxsports is an Australian company owned by Murdoch and his Australian company NewsCorp which owns the American Fox too along with just about every media outlet of note in the world, the EU TV money will not dry up, NZAR audiences will continue to increase as they have particularly without games in RSA at stupid hrs, and the biggest bug-bear currently in Aus and NZ rugby at the moment namely the increasing season will be solved… with a much shorter season, better derbies, proper broadcast times and almost no travel across time zones.

    The above my friend are just some of the reasons why NZAR are suddenly seeing this as viable option.

    RSA players will continue their mass exodus up North and it will be also be to NZAR states just as it currently is… the guys like the Smith bros at Brumbies are not coming over for money…

    RSA will be left without being able to get their 6 teams in down-graded comp and my guess is you’ll see someone like Venter and Smit trying to use their SAracens connections to ‘hook a brother up’ whilst the rest of the old RSA S15 sides clamber over each other trying to negotiate with comps all over the world.

    Currie Cup was finished years ago as anything more than a feeder to Super rugby…

    You’ll have nobody else to thank but those chumps at SARU…

  29. avatar Boertjie says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Been reading all the comments.
    The thought accurred to me that without
    SANZAR the RSA will also be losing millions
    that cannot be made up in any other competition.
    Where does that leave the RSA?
    With how many good players NOT playing abroad?

  30. avatar Timeo says:
    July 30th, 2013 at 1:27 am

    Bryce,

    I don’t wish any ills on Aus and NZ rugby at all. If they can survive and thrive without the SA based audience, good luck to them, but if the numbers quoted by Craven up there are correct then I suspect they will struggle.
    If 50% of the audience for a game between 2 kiwi teams is from SA and only 10% from NZ and Aus, then NZ and Aus will suffer significantly without the SA money.

    I also don’t believe SARU is as spineless as most people think they are. They have been playing 3rd fiddle in Sanzar out of a debt of gratitude to the Kiwis. That was a good (noble) thing, but it is paid now, and if the Aussies call the shots on that side of the ocean, then SA may feel free to go its own way. Their pot of money will shrunk also, but 100% of a half-sized pot is still more than 33% of the current one. EU based players will still be available for Bok duty and the Boks will be a better team with fresher, healthier players and longer careers. A better Bok team will raise the appeal of SA rugby and open more than enough opportunities for SA based teams.

    In 1992, SA rugby emerged from 2 decades of isolation in a remarkably healthy state and the fact that world rugby was able to finally turn pro shortly thereafter is a testament to the boost provided by South Africa’s re-entry into the economy of world rugby.

    A year or so I would have said differently, but right now, I hope the Aussies are serious. SA rugby needs a new direction. Carpe diem.

  31. avatar Timeo says:
    July 30th, 2013 at 1:31 am

    All the successful sports leagues in the world operate in relatively compact geographic areas with close by local rivalries and time-zones that makes for convenient scheduling.

    Super Rugby is an anachronism. It has run its course. Create a super exciting domestic comp and the world will want to watch you play and play with you.

  32. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 30th, 2013 at 3:27 am

    Timeo as I said before… my concern isn’t for NZ and Aus rugby… under their proposed plans I have zero doubt they’ll come out with a much better competition, better player conditioning and also have the opportunity to play OS (eg Japanese leagues should they choose for extra moolah).

    My concern if for RSA rugby… and I simply cannot agree with you that playing either themselves only or with an Arg team and not being tested against the other two top countries in the world will have any positive effect on them. Rugby is a total different ball game to post-isolation 95′/96′ particularly from a money point of view.

  33. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    July 30th, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I am all for shifting the focus back to CC rugby – Superrugby is fine but CC still the traditional strength of SA rugby.

    I am with Timeo – bring it on! Sometimes a change is as good as a holiday.

  34. avatar Craven says:
    July 30th, 2013 at 9:11 am

    But Bryce, they will still play the Rugby Championship will they not? So it is not as if they will never play the super-duper-uber-somuchbetter-superiorproduct-rugbyplaying nations of Aus and NZ.

    I am actually surprised at your flippant atitude towards what SA brings to the SANZAR table. It is a well documented fact that Aus rugby needed Superugby for the survival of the game in Wallabie country. The fact they do not have a domestic league type competition like Currie or ITM Cup required would have killed their local product if SANZAR did not agree to expand Superugby to offer them a fifth Melbourne based team and provide their top players a competition where they can play pro rugby for more than 3 months a year.

    All this was made possible by selling a broadcast package to Murdoch and his cronies as you pointed out, but what made the big numbers add up was the fact that could offer massive viewership numbers.

    You still seem convinced that even when cutting on average between 60 and 70% of you viewership numbers in the most watched games, you can still command a high selling price from a media company that have to answer to investors? It does not add up unfortunately. You claim that Aus and NZ will offer a superior product with even more derbies and Murdoch will jump at this and just throw money at them even though they have lost their BIGGEST viewership market in one swoop.

    Yes Superugby added value to SA as well, but looking at the horrendous injury lists we sit with this year across our teams, the massive exodus of players leaving at ever decrasing ages, you have to ask how much value (non-monetary) we actually derived from Superugby.

  35. avatar Craven says:
    July 30th, 2013 at 9:17 am

    On a final point, the most watched games in Superugby, both stadium and TV are SA derbies.

    Yet you seem convinced no=noe will want to watch SA teams playing themselves? Your reasoning is flawed unfortunately for as long as people watch it media corporations like Murdoch’s bunch will be prepared to throw money at it.

  36. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 30th, 2013 at 9:55 am

    IT’s been well documented 60-70% viewership does NOT equate to 60-70% of the revenue when it comes to poor Forex etc… and Euro viewership resale is still going to be there with the world’s best playing in the comp still (including the world’s best country in rugby union history)…

    Flippant? I think not… some are extremely to think Australia and NZ cannot run this competition successfully from a fiscal point of view.

    Have you ever watch the NRL?

    The uber-successful National Rugby League competition that pits numerous Australian sides with each other and includes the ever popular NZ Warriors. This league does not struggle in the slightest… packs the stadiums and pays it’s players far more than the likes of Folau and SBW got in rugby union.

    Well here’s a bit of news for those that don’t know… rugby union in Australia has caught up and in some cases surpassed rugby league from live attendances to subscription television viewing figures and has bigger business waiting in the sponsorship wings. This will only get better (within NZAR) once they cut off what has become dead-wood in an inflated competition namely games nobody watches. The cost saving from flights/accomodation/travel will be in multi-millions (in Dollar terms)…

    Nup you’re mistaken my friend… they’ll have teething issues but the competition will garner much increased popularity in NZAR and with the above go some way in elimination some of the purported fiscal drain they’ll experience but denying SARU a 6th team in Super Rugby.

    But I digress… at which point did you not hear me say I’m not worried about that in the slightest (i.e. what happens to NZAR rugby)… they’ll sort it and will lose nothing in terms of ‘quality of rugby’.

    My concern is what will happen to RSA rugby… because it’s blatantly obvious if they don’t get the TOP teams in the NH into a competition (and they will never) and ironically they’ll be left with far less than 6 teams playing decent opposition if they miraculously could… they are going to suffer both a marked decrease (something they cannot afford) in quality… and see an unparalleled amount of young players leaving the shores and those include across the Indian Ocean and Tasman…

  37. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 30th, 2013 at 10:17 am

    You forget it’s 100% down to SARU wanting a political 6th team in the comp which leads to their proposal of a ‘S18-20 type’ comp including the Kings and second tier teams from other countries…

    So will those unions (including Kings) get paid out RSA’s end? Perhaps you should rework the maths of the current situation in light of that… and then perhaps you can see why an NZAR split is looking more and more viable moving forward.

  38. avatar Timeo says:
    July 30th, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Bryce
    You keep claiming that its the games in SA nobody’s watching yet the numbers posted by Craven show the opposite.

    What gives? You have different numbers? Please share.

  39. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 30th, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Timeo… I was referring to NZAR interest in SARU games at ungodly hrs… there is none… and not much on the repeats either.

    Despite the SARU generated money on these games… a better product can and will be developed for NZAR fans if SARU want to add a 6th team and make the saturated comp now unworkable… or add another 3-4 teams on top of that reducing the bottom line anymore.

  40. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 30th, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    70% of ARU revenue comes from test rugby not Super Rugby… give their growing fans a more concise comp against the best rugby country in the world, namely NZ, modelled loosely on the NRL… travelling costs will decrease for both unions in the millions (of Dollars), player fatigue will be solved, broad-casting times are in synch, tests can be increased (where the revenue really is) and the few players that do want to go and play OS (like Japan) in the off-seasons can do so and return…

    I say bring it on if SARU continue to push for expanding through the current ceiling.

    The only thing that is going to save them now is if they back-track and decide on a sort of ‘closed conference’ style comp.

  41. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 30th, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    RSA rugby quality will be the loser unfortunately…

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