Tank Lanning

Franchise or province?

2016-09-22 09:36
Sport24 columnist Tank Lanning (File)

Never, ever did I think I would miss those comments at the base of my columns here on Sport24. But at least one had a sense of being read … along with knowing how fat, stupid and biased I am, of course.

Twitter is the new comments section, I suppose, so not to worry if you thought I was not being informed of the latter often enough.

One of a columnist’s jobs is to inspire debate, though, so it was great to get a whole bunch of feedback to my suggested rugby calendar column of last week. Two of which I reckon are worth Accenture – the management consulting firm appointed by SANZAAR to try and rectify the current horror show – taking a gander at.

Andre de Waal (via a comment on my Blog) would split the tournament into three divisions (Premiership, Championship and Development) with 8 teams in each. Six new teams would then join the Development Division from the likes of America, the Pacific Islands, Asia, or even Europe.

The teams in the same division would play each other in a home and away double, with the top 4 of the Premiership contesting the semi-finals and then Grand Final.

That same weekend would see the bottom three of the Premiership play promotion/relegation matches against the top three of the Championship, perhaps even including an automatic promotion/relegation for the top and bottom teams respectively.

The same would happen in terms of the Championship and Development divisions, with the bottom team in the Development division having to play any new teams wanting to join the tournament – as decided by a tender process.

I think it ticks a lot of boxes – producing lots of game time that broadcasters demand, tapping into new markets, maintaining a Quality vs Quality angle that has gone AWOL, and giving teams (along with their fans) that are lower on the log something to play for.

Enrico Oosthuizen (via email) suggests something a little different, and something that takes cognisance of the Currie Cup, which I really like.

He reckons we need to have our best players playing their best rugby throughout the season, but that the season is currently too long, features a ridiculous Super Rugby format, and disregards the Currie Cup.

Enrico proposes that we follow the European Football model where competitions are run concurrently, but get separate windows, and are not played on the same days. The EPL mixes with the FA Cup as well as the UEFA tournaments. And in between that there are the International windows where no other domestic games are played.

Teams thus plan and manage their players accordingly.

Tank Lanning is a former Western Province prop and vociferous tweeter from @frontrowgrunt.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

Read more on:    tank lanning  |  rugby
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