Super Rugby set for radical new changes?

    2019-04-09 14:49

    Cape Town - Super Rugby could be set for further radical new changes, including a neutral venue to host the final, according to a report in the Australian press. 

    The Sydney Morning Herald wrote on Tuesday that the tournament's broadcasters - Fox Sports (Australia), SuperSport (South Africa), Sky Sport (New Zealand) and UK broadcaster Sky Sports in London - had compiled a 'wish list' of changes to SANZAAR that would come into effect from the 2021 season. 

    One of the major changes, the report says, is the proposal for the Super Rugby final to be played at a predetermined venue in much the same way the NFL and Champions League operate. 

    The broadcasters are also reportedly interested in exploring the possibility of a group of marquee players who would be able to represent franchises from rival nations without it impacting on their Test illegibility.

    Therefore in theory, a player like Beauden Barrett or Richie Mo'unga could potentially run out for the Sharks or Bulls, while Handre Pollard could call Auckland and the Blues, his home.

    A third change could see Super Rugby teams featuring their home city or region in their names, as was the case in 1998, when the Stormers were known as the Western Stormers and the Bulls played as the Northern Bulls.

    Another element of the proposal centred around the Rugby Championship and turning the competition into a tour-based itinerary that would see the national sides play midweek games against unions and provinces from the host nation. 

    SANZAAR confirmed last month that the current 15-team Super Rugby format would change from 2021 and revert back to a 14 team, one conference system, with Japan's Sunwolves falling away.

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