Super Rugby

All Blacks, Wallabies stars want SA out of Super Rugby - report

A contingent of Wallabies and All Blacks star reportedly want South Africa eliminated from Super Rugby.

According to Australia's Nine News website, a group of Australian players, led by Wallabies captain Michael Hooper, was involved in a virtual call with their New Zealand counterparts where they discussed their desired Super Rugby tournament for the future.

The Kiwi contingent included newly appointed All Blacks captain Sam Cane, the report added.

The group unanimously agreed that Super Rugby as it currently stands - featuring Australian, New Zealand, South African, Japanese and Argentinian franchises - is no longer viable.

It is believed that the players want to see a trans-Tasman competition, involving the existing nine franchises from each country along with the re-introduction of the Western Force, while the addition of a Pacific Island team would also be welcomed.

This idea was also recently flouted by former All Blacks flyhalf Andrew Mehrtens, who said Super Rugby is dead in its current format and must change to a competition played solely in New Zealand and Australian time zones.

"New Zealand is going to benefit ultimately from a revamped Super Rugby, and Australia will too," the 87-capped Crusaders icon told the offtheball.com show in a conversation with former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and former Ireland hooker Keith Wood.

"I've said for quite a while now that while the competition has expanded, it hasn't expanded in a consistent or logical way.

"It's just added a couple of teams here and there. It went to 14, 15, then it went to 18 and dropped back down.

"The hindrance in Super Rugby is that there are games in Argentina now, and the time zone is not great for New Zealand and Australia, the same with South Africa.

"Not many people are watching even their own teams at 03:00 in the morning coming out of South Africa."

It seems a major stumbling block for this trans-Tasman event is the fact that South Africa and New Zealand are believed to have already signed broadcast deals beyond 2020 for the current Super Rugby event.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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