Super Rugby Aotearoa

Eddie Jones: Super Rugby Aotearoa model is the way forward

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Eddie Jones looks on during the Killik Cup match between the Barbarians and Fiji at Twickenham on 16 November 2019 (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
Eddie Jones looks on during the Killik Cup match between the Barbarians and Fiji at Twickenham on 16 November 2019 (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
Alex Davidson
  • England coach Eddie Jones has been impressed by the quality on display in Super Rugby Aotearoa.
  • Jones believes Super Rugby organisers should look no further than New Zealand's domestic product when determining the future of the southern hemisphere event.
  • The England mentor added that Super 12 was "best against best" but the product has become diluted.

England coach Eddie Jones is a fan of the Super Rugby Aotearoa event currently on the go.

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Jones believes Super Rugby organisers should look at New Zealand's domestic product when determining the future of the southern hemisphere event.

"The main thing is, and I think it's shown, is that people want a strong domestic competition. And it"s probably fallen away a little bit," Jones said in quotes published on Sky Sports Rugby.

After the regular Super Rugby season was abandoned due to the Covid-19 pandemic, New Zealand was the first country to restart with an event featuring their five franchises.

The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZR) recently also announced plans to stage a trans-Tasman Super Rugby event in 2021.

It would likely be an eight-to-10 team tournament, excluding South Africa and Argentina but with a Pacific Islands team and an undetermined number of Australian teams.

Jones added: "The difference between cricket and rugby, I think - and in a lot of ways the economic models are fairly similar in that international sport is the part which creates most value - is that in rugby you need to have a stronger domestic competition that can still drive fans through the gate.

"New Zealand’s Super Rugby Aotearoa has shown that people want to see the best against the best, which was always what Super Rugby was.

"If you remember back to Super 12, it was the best against the best, the best players playing against each other. And over a period of time that has been diluted because of players moving overseas, the number of teams increasing and it’s lost that really competitive edge.

"I think the task for each country is to make sure their domestic league is the best against the best and highest level of competition, and if you can do that, fans will come and watch it."

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- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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