Picture by Rebel Army
What is missing in the South African challenge to the Super Rugby of 2016?
Well we already have only two coaches out of the six that have done it before, but for the other four coaches it will become real on the weekend of 26th of February. The Stormers have at least a coach that have been involved with the Super Rugby team for the last couple of years as an assistant but being head coach will be a different monster to handle.
With the extra sixth team (Southern Kings) this year the pool of players for all teams to have good quality backup will be a problem. Super Rugby is not a sprint but a marathon with a squad that can keep momentum with the injuries that will come to every team during the season.
To add to the limited players pool that teams can pick from, SARU have change the Currie Cup this year as well where the Super Rugby franchise will automatically have a spot in the second round of the competition and the rest of the 14 unions will have to fight it out for the last three spots.
This have made the so-called smaller unions reluctant to release their players for Super Rugby franchises on loan, which is understandable for their survival in this professional era of the game.
Getting down to the players that all the franchises have available one can see gaps in all of the teams with maybe the exception of the Lions and that is exactly where the starting problems begin with the ever expanding of a competition that has always been the premiere tournament in the world.
Super Rugby from the start did not just showcase the best the south could offer the world but show of the exceptional skills of the top players in each country and the evolvement of the game which every other country and team in the world wanted to follow.
Sadly, I do not believe we have that place in the world rugby anymore. Plenty have been said by old and current players, coaches and administrators about this new expansion of the competition and yes it has its positives and negatives.
What we have really is an Australasian Super 9 and a Currie Cup Premiere competition which include a Japanese and Puma team. Let’s be honest, the ultimate is to play the best teams week in and week out which include playing the best in the world, which are New Zealand teams. For half of the South African franchises that will not happen every year and our rugby will be poorer for that.
So what can we expect?
SANZAR that believe that they are doing what is great for the future of the organisation and we will have New Zealand still dominating, Australia that will get better for they will play every year against the best players and teams, which leave South African teams that will be poorer for it with a misconception even for the teams that top their groups.
***What is your expectations of the new expanded Super Rugby?
By: Jacques Nortier