KSA Shark ©

SANZAR’s (not so) Super plan revealed

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Super 14 on 19 May 2009 at 20:04
Tagged with : , , , , ,

SANZAR announced a new-look Super Rugby tournament structure that will stretch from the last weekend in February to the first weekend of August from 2011.

Rugby 365 reports that the revamped tournament will feature an extra team as well as an expanded finals series as part of changes to be proposed by the SANZAR (South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby) partners to broadcasters next month.

The new 24-week Super Rugby competition guarantees each team a minimum of eight home matches and a 16-match regular season. A new six team finals series includes an extra round with two “sudden-death” qualifiers before the semi-finals.

All teams will have a three-week bye while the tournament is suspended during the June International Test window, while the Tri-Nations series has also been given a new time slot in the calendar to run at the conclusion of Super Rugby.

The expanded competition has a 2011 launch date, with the current broadcast agreement to expire at the end of 2010.

“It has been an intense negotiation but we believe the outcome is a very good one for rugby, for the SANZAR alliance, for our players and fans and for broadcasters,” said Andy Marinos, the CEO of SANZAR.

“We were all committed to an expanded tournament and have been able to make it work, taking into account the different landscapes of our domestic game. What we have agreed upon is a competition with added domestic interest and a compelling international component that will see Super Rugby retain its status as rugby’s toughest provincial competition.”

* Key features of the new Super Rugby structure are:

– A 15th team playing in the Australian conference will be added to Super Rugby following a tender process open to all territories, and with SANZAR making the decision on the new side’s location. A timetable for tenders will be released shortly to ensure adequate lead-in time is provided to the successful bidder;

– The Tournament will kick off in the last week of February and conclude in the first week of August, except in 2011 when the calendar will be shifted earlier to accommodate Rugby World Cup;

– Teams will be divided into three national Conferences of five teams each. The new team will compete in the Australian Conference;

– Teams play the other four teams in their Conference twice (home and away);

– Teams play four out of the five teams from the other two Conferences (four home, four away);

– All teams will have a three-week bye during the June Test window;

– The three Conference winners and three wildcard teams with the highest number of competition points from any Conference qualify for the play-offs;

– The wildcard teams and the Conference winner with the least competition points will play an elimination round to meet the two Conference winners with the greatest number of competition points in the semi-finals;

Tri-Nations will always kick-off in South Africa in mid-August and conclude with two of the three trans-Tasman matches in early October to allow for early release of Springboks to Currie Cup. The will allow for Tri Nations tests between particular teams in particular countries to become permanent fixtures on the rugby calendar.

Australian Rugby Union managing director and CEO John O’Neill said: “This new structure will enable us to further embed Super Rugby as the premier provincial competition in world Rugby.

“The extended season, the home and away local derbies and a new-look finals series – we are building on what has already been an enormously successful Rugby tournament.

“This is an important and necessary evolution for Super Rugby and the fans, I’m sure, will embrace the changes we have made.

“From an Australian perspective, having a presence in the marketplace from February to August delivers us the capacity to compete with the other codes from a stronger and more compelling position. Australia is the only country in the world where four football codes compete head to head.

“Expanding the Super Rugby season presents us with a wonderful opportunity to further increase the profile and popularity of our game – and in the long term that will benefit SANZAR and the game worldwide.”

NZRU CEO Steve Tew said the agreement was a welcome one for rugby in New Zealand given the value that New Zealand’s fans, players, partners and media place on the strength of the southern hemisphere competitions and the contribution that makes to maintaining the competitive edge for rugby below the equator.

“We have said at every juncture that our preference was to maintain the three-country alliance and to build on it. We are delighted that we have reached an agreement which allows us to move the Super Rugby competition to a new platform which we believe will capture and excite rugby fans in all three countries. It will also create benefits for our players and Super Rugby franchises and give us a certain competition structure we can build on in future years and a protected window for our domestic competitions.”

The SANZAR partners will present the proposed structure to the rights-holding News Corporation by the end of June. Any new deal only comes into force from the 2011 season.


  • im still a bit confused tho? The 3 wildcard teams, are they basically the 5th team of each conference, the one playing the other teams? Can we have an example please 😆

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.05.09 20:15:45 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Teams play the other four teams in their Conference twice (home and away); (8 Games)

    No real problem with that.

    – Teams play four out of the five teams from the other two Conferences (four home, four away); (8 Games)

    WTF???? ❓ ❓ ❓ So everybody will not play everybody?????? 👿 👿 Would ove to know how they decide who you play and who you don’t play.

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.05.09 20:19:00 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @JarsonX (Comment 1) :

    No the three wildcard teams are the three teams from ANY of the conferences that have the highest points that didn’t finish 1st.

    So as an example if in Conf. A the top two teams have 46 and 40 points and in Conf. B the top three teams have 45, 44 and 43 points. then the teams with 46 and 45 go through automatically but the teams with 43 and 43 go through as the losers with the most points regardless of their finish position.

    Works like that in the Heineken Cup at the moment.

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.05.09 20:22:25 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • example: sharks play bulls,lions,cheetahs,stormers home and away and then reds,force,brumbies,waratahs home and blues,crusaders,hurricanes,chiefs away, highlanders and 5th aus team is then the wildcard team.
    Then bulls plays SA teams home and away, then blues,saders,highlanders,chiefs home and waratahs,reds, 5th aus team,force making the hurricanes and brumbies wildcard teams. 😕

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.05.09 20:24:07 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 3) :

    HC description.

    Four points for a win, two points for a draw (match points). A bonus point will be earned by a team scoring four or more tries and by a team losing by seven or less points. The six Pool winners and two best placed runners-up will qualify for the quarter-finals and will be
    decided by the following criteria:

    (i) the Pool winner will be the Club with the highest number of match points earned in each Pool. The runners-up will be the two second placed Clubs from all six Pools with the next highest number of points. For the quarter-final round, the Pool winners will be ranked 1 – 6 in terms of the number of points earned. The runners-up will be
    ranked 7 and 8.

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.05.09 20:26:55 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 3) : oh! 😳 doesnt matter from which conference they come from then. I have no idea how heineken cup works 😆 so bulls and sharks are almost guaranteed of a play-off spot 😛 so whats this sudden death stuff

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.05.09 20:28:46 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 4) :

    No. That is wrong

    Let us use SA as an example.

    Sharks will play the following all home and away.

    Then we will play 8 of the other 10 teams (4 Aus and 4 NZ)

    This will mean we have played 16 matches.
    The Cheetahs will also play 8 of the other teams but NOT the same 8 as we have played. (This is the part I have issue with)

    Now after the comp each team will have played 16 matches and will obviously have a log position of sort.

    The 1st team in each conference automatically goes through. Then they look at all the other teams’ log points and the three with the highest log points, regardless of which conference they are in, go through as the three wild card teams.

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.05.09 20:34:04 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 7) :

    You then have six teams for the sudden death phase (play-offs)

    Of the three teams that won their conferences, they will then look at the two with the highest points and they will automatically progress to the next round.

    The Conference winner with the least points will then join the three wildcard teams for their own “1/6 finals” i am not sure how they will determine venues for this.

    The winners will then go through to play the two teams that went through automatically,

    with the winners from this then going through to meet in the final.

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.05.09 20:38:43 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 7) : thats kind of what i said, except the wildcard teams part 😳 whats wrong with not all teams playing each other?

  • Comment 9, posted at 19.05.09 20:41:06 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 8) : ok so the 2 teams that go through automatically will play a game less than the other 4 teams

  • Comment 10, posted at 19.05.09 20:43:38 by JarsonX Reply
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  • in 2011 we may not play saders or tahs, 2012 we skip chiefs and reds, in 2013 we skip blues and force whats wrong with that?? Unless we meet them in the play-offs. I get the point that if u dont play all the teams, then how can it be fair, i geuss its gonna be the luck of the draw.

  • Comment 11, posted at 19.05.09 20:54:18 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 10) : yip that is correct.

    The rich get richer and the good get reated better. 😉

  • Comment 12, posted at 19.05.09 20:57:35 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • This is fairly similar to the NFL (American). By fixing the number of games per team to 16, you may add 9or remove) teams from the competition without upsetting the overall schedule.

    The amusing part is that the 15th team may come from anywhere but will play in the Australian conference. If the team is based in SA it will make for some interesting challenges with scheduling and travelling and also ruin the TV ratings in AUS for a number of games.

    A 6th SA team is thus unlikely. Which leaves the problem of the Kings unresolved.

  • Comment 13, posted at 19.05.09 21:00:56 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 13) :

    travelling won’t really be an issue becasue the team will be based IN Aus all the time so there won’t be travel involved accpet for their away games.

    The tender documents would make for interesting reading. I would think that things like venue, venue capacity, etc. are part of the tender document, so they will probably have to decide before hand where the team will be based in Aus and then use that stadium as part of the tender.

  • Comment 14, posted at 19.05.09 21:05:10 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @JarsonX (Comment 11) : There is already an element like that built in to the current system with the home/away schedule.

  • Comment 15, posted at 19.05.09 21:06:51 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @fyndraai (Comment 13) :

    I can’t see anything other than an Aus team making the grade. Unless Hickey gets his way with an antipodean team from NZ, the Islands and Aus, based in Melbourne.

  • Comment 16, posted at 19.05.09 21:07:13 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 14) : How can you have an SA team based in AUS. That’s moronic.

  • Comment 17, posted at 19.05.09 21:08:26 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 15) :

    In the current schedule you play every team at least once though. In the new schedule you will miss two teams each year.

  • Comment 18, posted at 19.05.09 21:09:30 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I don’t see how this can NOT overlap with the Currie Cup

  • Comment 19, posted at 19.05.09 21:10:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • I imagine the Brumbies and Waratahs are loving this format for deciding the play-offs. If they have the Kings and the Reds in their conference they wil certainly be assured of a wildcard spot courtesy of the gaurenteed wins over them. 😉 😛

    (Unless they play like us) 😆

  • Comment 20, posted at 19.05.09 21:12:05 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @fyndraai (Comment 17) : agree. We don’t have the quality for 5 teams, nevermind 6

  • Comment 21, posted at 19.05.09 21:12:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • this makes the travel worse for SA teams as well. Each team is now guaranteed 4 matches overseas, while the aus and new zealand teams will each have only two in SA. A step backwards

  • Comment 22, posted at 19.05.09 21:16:47 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 20) : The good thing about it is that it gives hope to fans of some of the weaker teams that had no hope before. That will keep them coming to the stadiums in larger numbers.

  • Comment 23, posted at 19.05.09 21:18:26 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @robdylan (Comment 19) :

    this ties in nicely with the theory that the CC will be reduced to 6 teams only.

    The CC is conveniently NOT mentioned in this becasue SANZAR couldn’t give a shit about the CC. 👿


    Currently the CC starts on 10 july. If the CC starts IMMEDIATELY after the S14 Final it will have moved its start date 5 WEEKS back.

    It currently finishes in the last week in October. 5 Weeks later will mean 1st week in December. 😯 😯 😯

    Expect some news on al altered CC or news and a dispute regarding the CC SOON.

  • Comment 24, posted at 19.05.09 21:18:42 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @fyndraai (Comment 17) :

    Precisely, but I can’t see them travelling backwards and forwards each week, so if it is the Kings then that WILL be the case.

    So therefore it WON’T be the Kings.

  • Comment 25, posted at 19.05.09 21:21:28 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @robdylan (Comment 22) :

    Better for us on occasion bettter for them on every occasion. We usually travel for 4 or 5 matches never for three (in the S12 yes, but not the S14) So we are no worse off really but they are BETTER off.

    I still say they should force them to not be allowed to return to their home country during their tours. 😉 2 matches in SA and 2 in NZ before being allowed to go back to Aus. 😉

  • Comment 26, posted at 19.05.09 21:24:03 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Nothing can be done about geography, and its pointless to try and punish them for the fact that AUS and NZ are next door to each other.

    The SA teams should have asked years ago for small concessions in the schedule to compensate.
    Things like:
    Scheduling the byes for SA teams to coincide with their trip there or back;
    Scheduling Friday and Sunday games to give the travelling SA team an extra day;
    Never allow a schedule where an SA team plays their 1st home game in week 8, like the Cheetahs did this year;
    Make sure the SA teams does not have to travel back and forth across the Tasman.

    Rather than continually harp about something that is unavoidable they can make these small changes that is actually possible.

  • Comment 27, posted at 19.05.09 21:36:32 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • They should also stop viewing these trips as rugby tours, hopping from town to town, staying in hotels and rooming with team mates. It must really get tedious if you do it year after year.

    Rather try to give the players a set of circumstances that is closer to home.
    SARU should have obtained a facility at a central location such as Sydney that can act as a base for all SA teams. Living and training facilities in one spot convenient to the airport. Fly out and in for the games on the same day. Staff the place with SA expats. Provide apartments rather that hotel rooms and allow players to bring partners or friends.

  • Comment 28, posted at 19.05.09 21:49:42 by fyndraai Reply
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  • The Aussie statement on the changes.

    The main features include:

    * An expanded Super 15 season from the last weekend of February to the first weekend of August. An increase in Super matches from 91 to 120. In World Cup years such as 2011, when the Super 15 expansion will begin, the Super season and Tri Nations will be moved forward.

    * Three Super conferences of five teams each, in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The 15th team to play in the Australian conference and, despite a South African push for its Southern Kings franchise, the new side is expected to be a fifth Australian side based either in Melbourne, western Sydney or the Gold Coast.

    * The fifth Australian team to involve private equity.

    * More local derbies, with extra home games for the Australian teams. An increase from 26 to 40 Australian-based games.

    * A six-team finals series, with at least one side from each country involved.

    * A three-week break in June, when inbound Tests are held.

    * Australia to receive a big boost in funding after SANZAR agreed that the three countries share costs and revenue equally. Australia’s revenue share rises from 29 per cent to 33 per cent.

  • Comment 29, posted at 20.05.09 06:56:49 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • So a top player will play

    16 – 19 S15 matches
    3 Incoming test matches in June
    The above games (22) all without a single week’s rest in there.

    And they say the players brokered this deal?????? 😯 😯

    Then add the 4 Tri-Nations games after a one week break from the S15 final.

  • Comment 30, posted at 20.05.09 07:03:06 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 29) : SA makes all the money and Aus and NZ gets a third of it, now thats bullshit! 👿

  • Comment 31, posted at 20.05.09 07:04:13 by JarsonX Reply
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  • More local derbies, with extra home games for the Australian teams. An increase from 26 to 40 Australian-based games.

    O’Neil got what he wanted after all.

    More local derbies? Should we start a pool to see how long it takes before the Conference portion of the S15 doubles as the Australian domestic championships?

    I wonder what it will be called? The “We nailed ’em mate” trophy

  • Comment 32, posted at 20.05.09 07:06:20 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @JarsonX (Comment 31) :

    Yeah but you’ve got more than half a brain, it seems the SARU guys who agreed to this don’t.

    Aus got exactly what they wanted
    A built in domestic comp
    A later start
    More money
    More Aus based games

    O’Neill may be loud and obnoxious but he ain’t stupid.

  • Comment 33, posted at 20.05.09 07:09:23 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 30) : i sure as hell hope not, they will probably work some kind bye system in there, or we are going to see weaker test teams due to injury and such. Also the 1st year, 2011, is a world cup year, so they are going to start the S15 earlier, right?

  • Comment 34, posted at 20.05.09 07:09:28 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 33) : more than half a brain 😯 👿 😆

  • Comment 35, posted at 20.05.09 07:11:34 by JarsonX Reply
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  • i got to get ready for work 🙁 later then.

  • Comment 36, posted at 20.05.09 07:13:28 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 34) :

    Yip so in the very first year that the start date is moved backwards becasue of the hot summers, it turns out that it is actually NOT moved backwards. 🙂

  • Comment 37, posted at 20.05.09 07:14:25 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @JarsonX (Comment 35) :

    Yes, a complete brain is more than half a brain. 😉

  • Comment 38, posted at 20.05.09 07:15:20 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • ok it seems that during a world cup year its going to start early Feb until early Jul with each team getting 2 byes and in a normal year it starts end Feb till early Aug with each team having 5 byes

  • Comment 39, posted at 20.05.09 08:19:08 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 39) : got that info from a table in the Beeld newspaper.

  • Comment 40, posted at 20.05.09 08:20:10 by JarsonX Reply
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  • so the Sharks gets to lose to the Cheetahs twice 😛

  • Comment 41, posted at 20.05.09 08:59:15 by JarsonX Reply
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  • The comp is now too long. Spectators are only going to come out in July to watch. This wont make anyone richer

  • Comment 42, posted at 20.05.09 09:33:48 by Rahul Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : I would say the same as other big tournaments like the FA cup or whatever. Pull names out of a hat.

  • Comment 43, posted at 20.05.09 10:28:35 by klempie Reply

  • i dont see how this is going to last, expect more fighting between Zansar members in the future. Its going to be a super 6 tourny from now on. Bulls, Sharks, Crusaders, Hurricanes, Brumbies and Waratahs to feature in the play-offs on a regular basis, with the Chiefs, Blues, Western Force and maybe Stormers to make the odd appearance.

  • Comment 44, posted at 20.05.09 10:57:55 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @Rahul (Comment 42) :

    True – this is too long…especially if we’re still keeping the CC…

  • Comment 45, posted at 20.05.09 11:02:42 by blackshark Reply

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  • @fyndraai (Comment 27) : Agree with all that. Very sensible.

  • Comment 46, posted at 20.05.09 11:12:08 by klempie Reply

  • So looks like we will be having relegation for SA teams after all. At least there will be the opportunity to put the Lions or Cheetahs out of their misery every second season. 😎

  • Comment 47, posted at 20.05.09 11:18:22 by klempie Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 46) :

    How can you give the guy the bird and agree with him at the same time. 😛

  • Comment 48, posted at 20.05.09 11:25:16 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @klempie (Comment 47) :

    😆 let’s just hope that doesn’t happen to us. 😳

  • Comment 49, posted at 20.05.09 11:27:27 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 48) : He a Kalfie? 😛

  • Comment 50, posted at 20.05.09 11:43:50 by klempie Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 49) : Almost did in 2006 when the Spears were “around” iirc. My what wonders Dick did. 😎

  • Comment 51, posted at 20.05.09 11:44:41 by klempie Reply


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