robdylan

Super Rugby expansion revealed


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 2 May 2014 at 09:33
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SANZAR has communicated the agreed format for a post-2015 Super Rugby competition that incorporates 18 teams, rather than the current 15. In this article, I’ll attempt to explain how the new system will work, while saving my comments on said system for a later article.

There are a huge number of changes to the existing format. Let’s attempt to summarise them here.

- Three extra teams will be added to the competition. New Zealand and Australia will each retain their existing five teams. The new teams will be the Southern Kings, a team from Argentina and an 18th team to be determined by a tender process. This 18th team could come from anywhere in the world, with Europe and Japan perhaps the most likely options.
- The existing conference model will be expanded. Again, the existing New Zealand and Australian conferences will remain unchanged (comprising five teams each), while the remaining eight teams will be divided into two “South African conferences” each containing four teams.
- The schedule of games to be played is now vastly different, with each team playing 15 regular season games (rather than the current 16). The formula determining who plays whom is convoluted to say the least:

In the Australian and New Zealand conference, each team will play a double round against two of the teams in their own conference (4 games) and a single round against the other two teams in their own conference (2 games). They will play a single round against all teams in the other non-South African conference (5 games) and a single round against all teams in one of the South African conferences (4 games). They will thus play no games at all against the other South African conference in that year.

In the South African conferences, each team will play a double round against all the teams in their own conference (6 games). They will play a single round against all the teams in the other South African conference (4 games) and a single round against all the teams in one of the non-South African conferences (5 games). Each team in a South African conference, will thus, in a given year, only play against Australian teams or only play against New Zealand teams.

- The competition will run over 17 rounds and each team will enjoy two byes. Since each team plays 15 matches, half of teams will benefit from an extra home match (8) than others (7) in a given season.
- The current “Finals Series” will be scrapped in favour of a straight three-round, eight-team knockout series. Winners of each conference will automatically advance and enjoy home-ground advantage in the quarter-finals. The other four teams will be drawn from the Australian/New Zealand conferences (3 teams) and the African conferences (1 team).

Obviously the South African conference participants still need to be finalised, but it is envisaged that tams will not ever change conferences once allocated, since this would then break the rotation model that would be necessary to ensure that each team plays each other over the course of a two-year cycle.

As a worked example, let’s assume the Sharks are drawn in South African Conference 1, which also includes the Stormers, the Southern Kings and the Argentine team. In 2016, they are drawn to play the Australian conference. This means they would face the following sample schedule:

Stormers (home and away)
Southern Kings (home and away)
Argentine XV (home and away)
Bulls (home)
Lions (away)
Cheetahs (home)
18th team (away)
Reds (home)
Rebels (home)
Waratahs (away)
Western Force (away)
Brumbies (away)

In 2017, it would then look something like:

Stormers (home and away)
Southern Kings (home and away)
Argentine XV (home and away)
Bulls (away)
Lions (home)
Cheetahs (away)
18th team (home)
Highlanders (home)
Hurricanes (home)
Chiefs (home)
Crusaders (away)
Blues (away)



58 Comments

  • I think I threw up a little. That is worst and most boring expansion plan I have ever heard.

    Why not just go back to Super 12 with a separate competition below Super Rugby? Four teams from each country in the top 12 to start with and how many teams in the second competition. At the end of the season the bottom 2 of the Super 12 are demoted and top 2 of the feeder competition are promoted.

  • Comment 1, posted at 02.05.14 09:43:48 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 1) : far too fkin sensible that. It would never pass muster with the clowns at SARU

  • Comment 2, posted at 02.05.14 09:46:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 1) : Agreed, Super 12 was exciting rugby and something to savour. This new competiton looks like a snooze fest of note.

    SA should have no more than 4 teams in Super Rugby.

  • Comment 3, posted at 02.05.14 09:47:47 by jonnow Reply

    jonnowSuper Rugby player
     
  • This is a joke. Surely this season is proving that South African rugby is not as deep as everyone is claiming. This just make me hate the kings even more, not only are they been given something for nothing, they are now ruining Super Rugby to do it. Pathetic absolutely pathetic.

  • Comment 4, posted at 02.05.14 09:47:52 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : That is depressingly true. This looks like the kind of format they want to try to induce a cryogenic sleep.

  • Comment 5, posted at 02.05.14 09:47:58 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @jonnow (Comment 3) : “And the Sharks run out to take the Kings on the 54th time this season. The record stands at 53 0… I wonder who’s going to win?”

  • Comment 6, posted at 02.05.14 09:50:39 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 1) : I would just restrict the relegation per country, e.g. the bottom team in the top tier of each country swaps with the top team in the bottom tier in that country.

    Otherwise you may end up with an unbalance of teams per country in each tier – which could make the travel schedule difficult to work out.

  • Comment 7, posted at 02.05.14 09:52:13 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • I am actually keen to see a kings supporter try and argue this as a positive…

  • Comment 8, posted at 02.05.14 09:52:53 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 7) : True, this year the feeder comp would have been full of the Aussie teams, next year would have been the SA teams.

  • Comment 9, posted at 02.05.14 09:54:16 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • I dont like it. Finish and Klaar!

  • Comment 10, posted at 02.05.14 09:55:36 by Son Of Mayhem Reply
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  • Why the Frack the Aussies always get what they want is beyond me

  • Comment 11, posted at 02.05.14 10:04:01 by Son Of Mayhem Reply
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  • Hi Rob, have enjoyed reading Sharksworld for a while now. Keep up the fantastic work! This is the first time I’ve ever felt the need to comment. I really don’t expect a response to this as I severely doubt SANZAR have realised this but if I understand this format correctly, the Sharks would be alternating who we tour every year, while also alternating how many away games every year. Following your example we would always have 3 away games in Oz, and the next year 2 away in NZ. This obviously depends which Africa conference we land up in, but there is a potential for the Sharks to have to play 3 away games in NZ every second year…..

  • Comment 12, posted at 02.05.14 10:04:23 by andredewaal Reply
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  • @andredewaal (Comment 12) : hey Andre – thanks for the comment!

    Look, there are so many “rotational variables” here that I don’t see how they are actually going to contain all of them.

    You are right, though. They need to alternate conferences and number of away/home games in total. Also need to make sure that they alternate home away over a four-year cycle to ensure you don’t, for instance, always play the Crusaders away.

    Actually, now that you point that out, it’s impossible to avoid the scenario that you will play a particular team away (or at home) twice in a row.

    My head hurts.

  • Comment 13, posted at 02.05.14 10:11:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 1) : @robdylan (Comment 2) : @andredewaal (Comment 12) :

    It’s completely ridiculous!!

    I’d like us to go the way of the Heineken Cup and Challenge Cup. Have a top 10 and a bottom 10 with the current 15, the Kings, an Argentinian team and a team each from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

    We would then only play 9 games a season (each other team in your league once as it was back in the Super 12) and the bottom 2 in the Top League would automatically be relegated for the top 2 in the Bottom League. This would mean 6 less Super Rugby league games per season and give the players more rest time.

    We could then also include the Fijians, Tongans and Samoans in a Southern Hemisphere 5 Nations as the Pacific Islanders.

    There’d be less rugby but it would be more interesting!

  • Comment 14, posted at 02.05.14 10:14:01 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : I think whoever thought this #[email protected]# format up should be awarded a special dark room in a mental institution somewhere like they do for all supervillians in the Marvel universe.

  • Comment 15, posted at 02.05.14 10:14:44 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 14) : That would make sense and it is something that SANZAR is not aware exists.

  • Comment 16, posted at 02.05.14 10:15:50 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 15) : Speaking my language :mrgreen:

  • Comment 17, posted at 02.05.14 10:22:32 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 16) : I’d love to see us maintaining our strength instead of sending SA Rugby and the Boks back into the stone ages.

    Is it too late to voice our protests against this idiotic format???

  • Comment 18, posted at 02.05.14 10:23:33 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 18) : I don’t think they really give a toss about what the supporters really think. They know that they will get people going through the turnstiles simply because they want to watch rugby.

    If rugby was in the same position in South Africa as it was in Australia where they are fighting for interest from the general public, they might view the competition and what the supporters want from it differently.

    It might just be time to start supporting soccer instead and see how SARU and SANZAR like seeing empty stadiums.

    My wife just might get what she wants… a weekend in rugby season where she doesn’t have to plan her life around match times.

  • Comment 19, posted at 02.05.14 10:27:37 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 19) : I hear you! I’m considering cancelling my DSTV as I only have it so that I can watch rugby. There’s now no point as the competition’s going to be just like the Currie Cup with a handful of international flavour…yawn! :???:

  • Comment 20, posted at 02.05.14 10:30:09 by ChrisS Reply
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  • Jeez I wish we could have broken away from SR and joined up with England and France when we had the chance. The only positive in persisting with SR was the regular contest against the top NZ and Aus teams. Now with this been heavily diluted we get 2 x Currie cups per year which a couple guest feature games.

    Is it too much to ask that all members of SANZAR have to actually enjoy rugby to be a member?

  • Comment 21, posted at 02.05.14 10:35:04 by gregkaos Reply
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  • Horrendous.

  • Comment 22, posted at 02.05.14 10:35:44 by Flashman Reply

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  • @ChrisS (Comment 20) : I hear you and added to that is the fact that DSTV loves kicking out only the channels showing rugby (201/211) in the middle of a game and I could easily cancel the service and move on.

  • Comment 23, posted at 02.05.14 10:36:36 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • “Pulver has backed the proposed changes as the best model to improve the competition and IMPORTANTLY boost broadcasting revenue.

    Pulver is the Australian Rugby union bigshot.

  • Comment 24, posted at 02.05.14 10:42:41 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 23) : And DSTV doesn’t offer a smaller package with rugby on it but there’s one for soccer.

  • Comment 25, posted at 02.05.14 10:44:19 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 25) : I think that’s got to do with SAFA so that they could get the PSL. It’s complete #[email protected]*.

    There’s already been a decrease in stadium attendance levels since they moved from the Super 14 to Super 15. This format could make Kings Park, Loftus and Newlands into white elephants.

  • Comment 26, posted at 02.05.14 10:50:23 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • This new system is a joke!!!!!!! Why must the SA teams only play against either OZ or NZ teams?!?!?! This is a glorified Currie cup!!!

  • Comment 27, posted at 02.05.14 11:01:28 by JD Reply
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  • When the time comes all lovers of SA rugby should boycott the competition by not watching any of the Australasian games on tv. Hit them in the media pocket until they come to realise who really has the power – those of us watching the game.

  • Comment 28, posted at 02.05.14 11:03:18 by rhineshark Reply
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  • Stopped really following SR two years ago – follow the European game now.
    With these developments, I’m glad i did.

  • Comment 29, posted at 02.05.14 11:03:49 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 26) : Sharks and Stormers don’t need to move to the bigger 2010 stadiums they can move to even smaller stadiums like some of the teams in the UK as I don’t see how they will ever fill their current stadiums let alone bigger ones.

  • Comment 30, posted at 02.05.14 11:05:20 by JD Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 29) : don’t blame you, maybe we must all shows our displeasure with the new system by stop watching rugby and DSTV, maybe if they feel the financial loss they will start thinking more about what the supporters want and less about what they want!!!!

  • Comment 31, posted at 02.05.14 11:11:47 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 30) : The way these guys are screwing up the tournaments they might just have to move into an indoor stadium like an action cricket/netball facility.

  • Comment 32, posted at 02.05.14 11:12:41 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 32) : was thinking more like high school grounds but you may be right! ;-D

  • Comment 33, posted at 02.05.14 11:15:59 by JD Reply
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  • I bet SARU were only too willing to accept this.

  • Comment 34, posted at 02.05.14 11:27:02 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • They are making it way too complicated. I would have made a top tier(With the top 12 teams) and a bottom tier with the remaining and the last two of the top tier gets relegated and the top 2 of the bottom tier gets promoted. Then they can play each other once a year

  • Comment 35, posted at 02.05.14 11:28:17 by Mutley Reply
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  • Was looking for a reason to cut DSTV( the devil) form my life. Talk about a sign. A pity as I really love the game. :sad:

  • Comment 36, posted at 02.05.14 11:30:14 by Southern_Shark Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 29) : I have also been watching a lot more European rugby than Super Rugby. The quality is pretty good, we get to see some of SA’s best players in action and don’t have to get up early.

  • Comment 37, posted at 02.05.14 11:34:52 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 37) : yes European rugby feels a lot like SA rugby with all the SA players playing!!!!!!

  • Comment 38, posted at 02.05.14 11:40:13 by JD Reply
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  • What a load of crap this will be..

  • Comment 39, posted at 02.05.14 11:40:58 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

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  • @RedSharkUtd82 (Comment 39) : think it’s time to watch more soccer!!!!

  • Comment 40, posted at 02.05.14 11:47:54 by JD Reply
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  • @Southern_Shark (Comment 36) :

    I had the same feeling. But you know what – i now maybe catch a game every couple of weeks and im happier for it. I actually do something instead of sitting on my ass drinking beer for 5 hours every saturday.
    I just found Super Rugby so pointless. 18 teams, one winner. By half way if your team is no longer in contention whats the points of watching the rest? This year the stromers messed up from day one – so i havent watched them play yet. By the time i had a free saturday they were already 4 losses down. no point in watching at that point.

    Thats the problem with these enormous tournaments – half the teams are out of contention after the first month.

  • Comment 41, posted at 02.05.14 11:50:54 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 40) :

    Never.

  • Comment 42, posted at 02.05.14 11:51:09 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 40) : Yeah pity the football season finishes now while the rugby is in full swing..

  • Comment 43, posted at 02.05.14 11:58:10 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

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  • we should have listened to the euros and the pounds we would have been way better of, better money , better time zone,fresh new competition Imagene toulon or sarries playing in the shark tank.

    And best of all we would see or players that went over there playing against our own in the same competition.

  • Comment 44, posted at 02.05.14 23:17:22 by BR Reply
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  • @RedSharkUtd82 (Comment 43) : that’s true so will have to find something else to do on Saturday afternoons, maybe time to dust off the old tennis rackets?!

  • Comment 45, posted at 03.05.14 01:26:02 by JD Reply
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  • @BR (Comment 44) : anything would have been better than this new concept! !!!!!

  • Comment 46, posted at 03.05.14 01:27:38 by JD Reply
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  • Hey Rob,
    Are you sure about that 3/1 split for the wildcard play-off spots?

    It seems unfair to guarantee 5 spots to the 10 teams on that side and only 3 to the 8 teams over here.

  • Comment 47, posted at 03.05.14 02:25:49 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 47) : yeah. I am sure. And I agree it’s unfair but SANZAR tell me all parties agreed to it.

  • Comment 48, posted at 03.05.14 08:59:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 48) : Damn. Any bright ideas on effective ways to express our dissatisfaction towards the new agreement? I’ve never put much faith in online protests but surely there is something we as fans can do to get our viewpoint across? (I cancelled DSTV ages ago so that route has already been pursued)

  • Comment 49, posted at 03.05.14 10:44:45 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 48) : @fyndraai (Comment 47) : @vanmartin (Comment 49) : problem is the powers that be in SA was so eager to get a sixth team that they would have signed any agreement that would allow them to get it, no matter how bad it is.

  • Comment 50, posted at 03.05.14 11:32:54 by JD Reply
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  • This is an absolute joke, who thinks up these kinds of things!

    Why is it human nature to want to try and make things as complicated as possible.

    Keep it simple, like Super 12 was, best 4 teams from each country get to play against each other – finished and klaar!

  • Comment 51, posted at 05.05.14 09:49:59 by stevovo Reply
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  • Can’t wait!! 2016!! Go Kings!!

  • Comment 52, posted at 05.05.14 12:21:51 by KingsArmy Reply

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  • I can see more SA teams starting to win the S18. The year u don’t play NZ teams will also be less on players bodies (hopefully less injuries). It might actually help the viewership, every year it will feel like a diff comp……don’t be scared for change. (Also heard there will be less travel)

  • Comment 53, posted at 05.05.14 12:29:43 by KingsArmy Reply

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  • Must admit SR haven been exciting for a couple of years now, every year just flows into the next. Now every year will be different. Something new! (And we do have the players, strms and cheetahs aren’t last because they don’t have the players….its more a coaching problem)

  • Comment 54, posted at 05.05.14 12:41:07 by KingsArmy Reply

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  • @KingsArmy (Comment 53) : I’m all for giving the Kings a fair go but you’re going to struggle getting any sort of shine on this turd. A number of posters on this site have suggested far better formats that include the Kings. Whole point of SR was playing Aussie and Kiwi teams. Winning a SR title without playing the Kiwis is going to ring very hollow in my opinion.

  • Comment 55, posted at 05.05.14 20:27:18 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 55) : thank you!!!!! The whole point was the best teams from SA, NZ and OZ play each other and the top team win!!!! Not the team with the lucky draw and that’s what I don’t like about the current format amd the new format!!!! Each team should play every other team atleast once in the season before the playoffs.

  • Comment 56, posted at 05.05.14 20:36:50 by JD Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 55) : You would still play them from the quarters and up. However you would qualify for the quarters without playing them.

    To be honest this thing will only be worth watching from the quarter finals.

  • Comment 57, posted at 06.05.14 08:27:53 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 57) : Play-offs are usually pretty dull affairs though. Mostly very conservative rugby. Not gonna sate the appetite.

  • Comment 58, posted at 06.05.14 10:29:17 by vanmartin Reply
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