Away with S15 franchises

Super Rugby Trophy (Gallo Images)
Super Rugby Trophy (Gallo Images)
SANZAR are in the midst of developing the following ridiculous Super Rugby format. This has to be in line with the current Einstein 4 points for a bye scenario. Thus keeping everyone in the dark, bar those who actually feel like analyzing and predicting the 3+1 logs on Excel over the weekend.
SANZAR has approved a 6th SA team for Super Rugby and now there is serious scrambling to come with a format for 2016. So, how do we round this off into a pool size? Bring an Argentinian team in which won our Vodacom Cup –Yeah?, another Aussie side – LOL!, Another NZ team – Why not? or a Japanese team full of old wannabe’s who went there for the money and to get away from Super Rugby.
Yes people, we all know, bigger is not always better and thus the concern with the expanded 2016 edition. The Lions and Kings will be whipping boys and fight it out with The Rebels and Force and maybe a NZ team which has Nono and Wheepu in it. Already we are just watching because its our team playing. The competition is sort of interesting. Stadiums aren’t being filled and all is just one big yawn out which only the Aussies are benefiting from. And herein lies the potential solution.
The Aussies do not have a domestic competition and their rugby is solely dependent on Super Rugby while NZ and SA have the ITM Cup and Currie Cup. SANZAR then created a system with more local derbies, the Conference system in order please the Aussies and it was also good for the bank balance due to the local derbies generating the most revenue.
So let’s get back to the conundrum. How do we get to what we want and include the Kings and the Lions?
Should we not think out-of-the-box about something that is already in the box?
How about making the Currie Cup and ITM part of Super Rugby by making it a conference/qualifying competition? The top 4 will qualify for the SupeRugby Group phase. The bottom 3 also gets a Cup, The SANZAR Cup, and will play in the same format, including 1 each from Argentina, Samoa and Tonga. And in the end, the Aussies have a domestic competition without killing the best rugby competition ever!
Did we not complicate matters by creating “franchises”? How do you explain to an alien from Mars that The Bulls and The Blue Bulls are not the same team, but actually is? A lot of re-aligning and consolidation will be required to bring everything back to 1 team, but nothing is impossible. Serious discussions on how to accommodate both SupeRugby and Currie Cup sponsors and retain most of the income will be required, but there is enough rugby to played to accommodate everyone.
Suddenly the door opens for a Mpumanlang Pumas (keep an eye on Neslpruit, things are happening there), Southland or any other smaller union to play against international teams and also the opportunity to generate revenue from this very lucrative market.
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