Fantasy League?

Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions, Super Rugby on 28 Jan 2013 at 08:31
Tagged with : , , ,

Plans to expand Super 15 in 2016 when the current broadcasting contract comes to an end might be on the cards and SANZAR is weighing up their options whether to take Super Rugby global.

The United States and Japan might be two of the countries they are looking at to add to the Southern Hemisphere competition. SANZAR CEO Greg Peters told The Australian that Super Rugby in its present form is a pretty successful model, and they are not going to water it down.

In 2000 Italy was included in the then Five Nations and it hass helped them to become a bit more competitive on the international stage. In 2012 Argentina was added to the Tri Nations which became the Rugby Championship. Its also lifted their game, drawing against South Africa and giving New Zealand and Australia a hard time back home. Canada and the United States will also be competing in the Pacific Nations Cup this year.

I’ve always been one for the underdog and its great to see a country like Italy play a good game against New Zealand or Argentina or beating Australia, and it’s great that SANZAR is interested in developing countries like the United States and Japan – but at what expense? Super Rugby is already stretching over seven months starting in February and the final being played in August.

How many South African players got injured in the first few weeks of the competition? Super Rugby is already so demanding with the amount of games and travelling and then there is still a break to play a few internationals only to return a month later to play the last few games. The conference system lets you play our fellow countrymen twice, only for our teams to play Currie Cup and again face the same opposition in a home and away leg.

The current rugby season is so long that we can’t even take a break from the game. If I had my way, I would change the current format and propose a new format of 12 teams. Qualifying teams would be the semi finalists of their domestic leagues from the previous year. So, if you look at South African teams, they will go all out not only to be Currie Cup Champions but also to participate in the Super Rugby tournament the following year.

This sounds great for the top teams but what about the teams from Japan, USA and lets say the Kings? They will play in a second league and there will even be opportunity to add more countries like Argentina and Pacific Islands. Open up the Currie Cup to more teams just to make it a bit more interesting and give teams equal opportunity.

And instead of promotion/relegation play-offs, the two finalists of the second division replace the bottom finishers of the first division, you will be able to develop and give exposure to Japanese clubs like Suntory Sungoliath (current champions), Sanyo Wild Knights, Toshiba Brave Lupus and Kobe Steel Kobeco Steelers, USA clubs like Belmont Shore, NYAC, Aspen, San Francisco Golden Gate (last winners) and even Argentine clubs.

The sponsorships and the financial backing when including teams from the United States and Japan could be enormous and the viewership will grow tremendously, but again I ask what will be the implications when adding these teams? Is the motivation behind adding these teams really there to benefit the teams or will the money be the main attraction in this “global tournament”?


  • Where is the Fantasy League? 😉

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.01.13 08:40:21 by SteelShark Reply
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  • Money money money is all these assholes see. They are ruining the players.

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.01.13 08:42:38 by SteelShark Reply
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  • Enough already!
    Sanzar only cares about money and don’t give a damn about the players!

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.01.13 08:49:36 by Pokkel Reply
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  • good piece you have some awesome ideas there too bad u not 1 of the people in charge you missed your calling

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.01.13 09:09:43 by Poisy Reply
  • Cant we draw up a petition (on facebook) or something for them NOT to increase the teams/length of the tournament. Its too long already.

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.01.13 09:10:30 by SteelShark Reply
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  • @Poisy (Comment 4) : thanks for the vote of confidence

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.01.13 09:19:40 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • Why not just have a club world cup every 4 years..that way we can see best take on the best without it having to be drawn out every year..

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.01.13 09:35:29 by shaniboi Reply

  • It’s a pity the Pacific Islands are being considered for the extended format of Super Rugby but the money and potential viewership in the Japanese and USA markets must be very lucrative.

    I think an extended Super Rugby competition may just make sense. There’s no way all those teams could face each other so a better conference system would probably be implemented which may actually result in the number of matches played (and perhaps even travelling time) being reduced.

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.01.13 11:23:58 by vanmartin Reply
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  • It is quite simple: just like the European cup consists of the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup, Superrugby can become a dual competition with two tiers.

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.01.13 14:29:23 by King Shark Reply
    King Shark
  • @vanmartin (Comment 8) : That should read “aren’t being considered”. 😳

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.01.13 15:01:37 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 8) : That could b another way of looking at it, teams play their conference and only qualifying teams advance to a second round? Maybe we should propose a tournament to SANZAR/IRB 😉

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.01.13 20:18:18 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • I agree with the article somewhat. Have an A and B division of 12 teams each. A straight round robin, no conferences. It will significantly shorten the season and the relegation battle will spice up the bottom of the table where teams seem to give up 75% of the way through the season.

  • Comment 12, posted at 30.01.13 09:43:11 by Orelando_G Reply


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