SA to lose a Super Rugby team?
Cape Town - The number of teams playing Super Rugby could be reduced from next season.
Afrikaans weekly newspaper, Rapport, reported on Sunday that the tournament could be reduced from 18 to 16 teams from 2018.
A team from South Africa and one from Australia would lose its Super Rugby status, the newspaper speculated.
The lowest-ranked South African and Australian teams would possibly be the ones eliminated.
SANZAAR, the Southern Hemisphere’s governing body, will meet later this year to discuss the format of the competition.
The tournament was expanded from 15 to 18 teams from the 2016 season, with South Africa’s Southern Kings, Argentina’s Jaguares and Japan’s Sunwolves added to the mix.
The current structure of the competition has come under scrutiny.
There were some major mismatches as well as criticism of a conference system which allowed home advantage in the playoffs to some teams despite them having worse records than others.
SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos said last year that changes could be on the cards for the competition structure in future.
In an interview with Reuters last year, Marinos said the main concerns expressed had been over the competitiveness of some teams.
"If the teams are all competing well, that does go a fair way towards managing people's expectations around the integrity of the competition. The big thrust there is getting the competitiveness back to where it was,” he said.
Australia's ability to maintain five teams and South Africa six was a "concern", Marinos admitted in the interview in September 2016.