New Super Rugby competition

2014-05-02 00:00


• Competition to be expanded from 15 teams to 18, with South Africa

being given a sixth team and a side from Argentina also joining.

• An as yet unnamed 18th team will be added to the competition after outside interest is gauged.

• The 18th team could be placed in “non-traditional” rugby markets with New Zealand rugby chief executive Steve Tew suggesting North America, east Asia or even southern Europe as potential venues.

• The 18th team must meet certain criteria including financial viability, a suitable venue and having the playing stocks to be competitive without raiding the other countries.

• Current system of a five-team conference in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia will change to two

regional groupings and four conferences.

• Africa group will split into two conferences with three South African sides in each of the conferences.

The Argentina side and the 18th team will become the fourth team in each of the conferences.

• Current five-team New Zealand and Australia conferences to remain unchanged and will form an Australasian group.


• Competition will run for a total

of 20 weeks, one fewer than current Super Rugby competition.

• All teams will play 15 games, one fewer than now, eight home and seven away. The home/away mix will alternate each year.

• The top finishers in each of the conferences will qualify directly for the quarter-finals and be joined by the winners from a wild card round.


• South Africa have wanted a sixth team in the competition for several years to feed the strong rugby culture in the Eastern Cape region around Port Elizabeth.

• The strength of the South African contribution to the broadcast agreement, put at greater than 50 percent, led to South Africa threatening to leave Sanzar and look to Europe if their demands for a sixth team were not met.

• The decision for Argentina to join an expanded Tri-Nations in 2012 was also a factor with the desire of the South American nation to give its players the opportunity for regular rugby outside the European leagues.


• Sanzar have signed off on the format and will now take it to their current broadcast partners Foxtel, Sky TV and SuperSport who will evaluate and price the package.

• Sanzar will also seek expressions of interest from rugby unions and private investors for the 18th team.

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