Get the Sport24 daily newsletter delivered to your Inbox!


    Mehrtens: ‘Stupid’ Super Rugby system doesn’t need SA

    2017-03-15 10:25

    Cape Town - Former All Black flyhalf Andrew Mehrtens has suggested a Super Rugby competition without South African and Argentine participants.

    Mehrtens was commenting after SANZAAR bosses met in London over the weekend to discuss the future of the tournament’s format which has come under fire since it was expanded last year.

    Media reports from New Zealand indicated that the competition will be reduced from 18 to 15 teams, with an Australian team and two South African teams axed.

    However, locally, there were reports of a 16-team competition, with one Australian and one South African team scrapped.

    Changes, however, can only be made with unanimous agreement from all SANZAAR partners and the southern hemisphere governing body said it would make an announcement on the matter in due course.

    Mehrtens, who played 70 Tests for the All Blacks between 1995 and 2004, has called for a more radical change.

    Speaking on Fox Sports' Super Rugby: Kick & Chase programme, Mehrtens suggested there was no need for South Africa and Argentina to be part of the competition.

    "I think the competition is stupid at the moment," Mehrtens said on the programme.

    "There's no way, in 10 years' time that we're going to be looking at a competition that covers three massively distinct time zones.

    "Our best thing is to go just within this time zone here. It makes it a lot more logistically easy to manage for the teams and players.

    "You fly overnight, a 10-hour flight to Japan, you can handle that because the time difference is not massive.”

    Mehrtens called for the introduction of Pacific Island nations like Fiji, Samoa and Tonga to join the competition.

    "In Asia and Australia and New Zealand and the (Pacific) Islands is where the future of this competition lies for us. The sooner we can get there the quicker we can develop it and the better."

    SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos commented on the situation following last weekend’s meeting in London.

    "Following two days of robust discussion there are a number of tournament considerations that now require further discussion and consultation. This includes final consultation within the national unions and discussion with key stakeholders that would allow the adoption of changes proposed by the strategic plan,” Marinos said via a press statement.

    "SANZAAR will make a formal statement on the future of the organisation, Super Rugby and the tournament format in the coming days once these further meetings have been concluded," added Marinos.

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    24 March 2017
    • Crusaders v Force, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Rebels v Waratahs, AAMI Park 10:45
    25 March 2017
    • Blues v Bulls, QBE Stadium 08:35
    • Brumbies v Highlanders, GIO Stadium 10:45
    • Sunwolves v Stormers, Singapore National Stadium 12:55
    • Kings v Lions, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:05
    • Cheetahs v Sharks, Toyota Stadium 17:15
    • Jaguares v Reds, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 23:40
    31 March 2017
    • Highlanders v Rebels, Forsyth Barr Stadium 08:35


    18 March 2017
    17 March 2017
    11 March 2017
    10 March 2017
    04 March 2017
    03 March 2017
    02 March 2017
    25 February 2017
    24 February 2017
    23 February 2017
    06 August 2016
    30 July 2016
    23 July 2016
    22 July 2016
    16 July 2016
    15 July 2016
    09 July 2016
    08 July 2016
    02 July 2016
    01 July 2016
    29 May 2016
    28 May 2016
    27 May 2016
    21 May 2016
    20 May 2016
    14 May 2016
    13 May 2016
    07 May 2016
    06 May 2016
    30 April 2016
    29 April 2016
    24 April 2016
    23 April 2016
    22 April 2016
    16 April 2016
    15 April 2016
    09 April 2016
    08 April 2016
    03 April 2016
    02 April 2016
    01 April 2016
    27 March 2016
    26 March 2016
    25 March 2016
    19 March 2016
    18 March 2016
    12 March 2016
    11 March 2016
    05 March 2016
    04 March 2016
    27 February 2016
    26 February 2016


    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Of the current crop of rugby commentators - across all languages - who is your favourite?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

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