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    Mitchell: Super Rugby approaching 'common sense'

    2017-09-21 18:56

    Pretoria - Bulls coach John Mitchell believes that SANZAAR has taken a step in the right direction by going back to 15 teams and three Conferences in Super Rugby from next year. 

    After two years of an 18-team tournament in 2016 and 2017, the Cheetahs, Kings and Western Force were ditched from the competition for 2018. 

    The Jaguares will join the four South African teams in the SA Conference while the Sunwolves will serve as the fifth team in the Australia Conference. 

    The New Zealand Conference is made up of the five Kiwi teams. 

    For Mitchell, who is in the process of trying to rebuild the Bulls, the change for 2018 is positive. 

    "It's getting closer to common sense," he said of Super Rugby after naming his Blue Bulls side for Saturday's Currie Cup clash against the Sharks.  

    But the former All Black coach also believed there were a number of challenges still facing the tournament. 

    "We probably spread the game too quickly and if you look at the northern hemisphere, the best players are generally playing all the time so people will pay money for value," he said.

    "We've fallen into the trap of our best players not always playing in front of our audiences, so how can they expect value?

    "We've got some challenges commercially to make sure that out best players are playing in front of our crowds when we do present our teams."

    The Bulls have a bye in week one of Super Rugby and their first match will be on February 24 when they host the Hurricanes at Loftus.

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    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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