Super Rugby

More New Zealand players lament loss of SA teams in Super Rugby

Aaron Smith
Aaron Smith

More New Zealand players have expressed their disappointment at plans to drop South African teams from next year's Super Rugby competition.

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Last week, New Zealand Rugby outlined a new model for the Super Rugby tournament which excludes South African teams and Argentina's Jaguares.

The new competition would likely feature Kiwi and Australian sides only, along with a potential Pasifika team.

Super Rugby stars Brad Weber and Bryn Hall both expressed sadness over the news last week, and a number of other players have since echoed their thoughts.

Maori All Blacks captain Ash Dixon said he would "love to see the Africans" stay in the competition.

"I think it's a huge part of the rivalry between New Zealand and South Africa," Dixon told Gold AM's Country Sport Breakfast.

"It is not an easy place to win - I'd love to see the Africans still there."

All Black star Aaron Smith shared similar sentiments.

"I'm a kid from a small town and going to South Africa and seeing lions and elephants, and seeing a beautiful country like that ... obviously New Zealand is beautiful but South Africa, it's just different over there," he said.

"The ability to go over there and travel and tour, and the tightness you get from that big trip.

"Going to Australia is very similar to New Zealand but going to South Africa is a great place to tour.

"I've been there plenty of times but it's still special."

Smith added: "They're awesome. Big stadiums, dry ball, they play it at the right time, at 4 o'clock or 5 o'clock, so you finish the game and it's only just dark."

"It's easy to play rugby in South Africa when it's 21 degrees in the winter."

- TEAMtalk media

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