Rugby and more Rugby!

The Rugby Championship and Currie Cup are in full swing. Who are the early title favourites? Have your say on our Forum!


    NFL-styled Super Rugby?

    2014-02-14 15:30
    Brenden Nel, SuperSport

    Johannesburg - SANZAR will consider a radical proposal to re-align the Super Rugby competition along the lines of the NFL, splitting the competition into four conferences with less travel for most of the teams.

    According to the website, the proposal, which was presented to the South African Rugby Union (SARU) Exco on Thursday, still needs to travel a long way before it becomes the new format of the competition, but is being discussed by all three countries at the moment with a possible report back to SANZAR in the next few months.

    The new proposal will see an upswing in revenue for the SARU as well as the virtual guarantee of having a South African team in the final of any future Super Rugby competition.

    With the current Vodacom Super Rugby format not that popular among players and fans, with complaints about travel, fatigue and injuries over the 19-week competition, no agreement has yet been reached on how a new format should look after 2015 when the current SANZAR contract ends.

    SARU are known to be in discussions with several European bodies at the moment, looking at alternative competitions, but it is unlikely that South African teams would join the Heineken Cup in its current format.

    However, a new competition may well be on the cards involving European teams if no agreement in the Super Rugby question is reached.

    Gone is the 18-team format idea, the proposal that gives three franchises of six teams and mooted involvement from Japan and the USA.

    What has been underlined is the importance of admitting an Argentinean franchise into the Super Rugby fold, and the new proposal will see less travelling while keeping the same cross-continent games that have been a hallmark of the competition.

    Under the radical proposal now being considered, SANZAR will split the Super Rugby into two major conferences – East and West, as is done in American Football. These two conferences will then be split into two again: Africa getting two separate conferences, Australia and New Zealand one each.

    In other words, the proposal sees Super Rugby working as follows:

    • Four conferences - Africa 1 and 2, Australia and New Zealand.

    • Australia and New Zealand would each consist of their five current Super Rugby franchises

    • The two African conferences would have four teams each. The five current Super Rugby franchises plus the Southern Kings would be South Africa’s compliment with Argentina providing a seventh franchise.

    • The eighth franchise is still to be decided, but could either be another South African team, an African franchise, or even a European franchise team such as Italy.

    • According to the proposal, teams would then would play a double round against each other within their conferences, ie home and away.

    • They would also play a single round against their neighbouring conference – ie, the Africa franchises would play each other, while Australia would play the New Zealand franchises.

    • The competition would also add international spice with West and East facing each other, ie Africa 1 would play New Zealand teams while Africa 2 would face Australian teams and be swopped around every year.

    After the round robin aspect of the conferences is played, the East and West conferences will have their own quarter- and semi-finals to determine a finalist.

    The final would then be played between the Africa winner and the Australia/New Zealand winner.

    A massive plus of the complicated proposal would see each country keeping its host broadcasting revenue, as opposed to the current system where South Africa contributes 45% of the money and only receives 33% share of the income.

    The proposals still have to be accepted by each country, but are now on the table. Once accepted, they will then head back to SANZAR, who will then have a mandate to discuss further with the broadcast partners and negotiate a new five-year contract for Super Rugby.

    But even if it is complicated, it would mean a win-win situation for franchises who would still have derby matches as well as an international flavour, with South African interest all but guaranteed until the end of the tournament.

    Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read


    02 August 2014
    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014


    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Does the Waratahs' Super Rugby victory give the Wallabies an edge heading into the Rugby Championship?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.