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Super Rugby expansion

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Super Rugby expansion

Postby 4N » Thu, 01 May 2014, 00:09

Copying what I wrote over on our former home...

4N wrote:So the gist of the following article is that SANZAR parties have agreed to expand to 18 teams split into four conferences - with the Australian conference and New Zealand conference remaining the same at five teams apiece, and South Africa hosting two conferences of four teams each. The Southern Kings return for a total of six South African franchises, Argentina gain a franchise, and a final team in a location TBA is included. The ARU are pushing for an Asian inclusion in this conference, presumably Singapore, which makes no sense geographically. I gather Argentina have stated they can only afford one franchise for now.

Which market, possessing the required funds, could be plausible for a conference based in SA/Argentina? US? Brazil? A Gulf state?

Link: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union ... 8837246989


Which markets would make sense? SARU have floated Italy and Spain, which are in the right timezone, but seem far-fetched otherwise.

Though maybe a Spain-based team comprised mainly of Argentines and affiliated with a big football club could work. The idea of Real Madrid was floated at one time, though the Pumas had Adidas as their kitmaker then, as Real do.


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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby iul » Thu, 01 May 2014, 10:36

Some fan writing his proposal about this in the first comment of this article: http://www.theroar.com.au/2014/05/01/fo ... sed-model/

Football United wrote:You forgot the ideal one where everyone pretty much gets what they want.

Option 5: The Common sense model.

-Three separate national competitions and a concurrent Champions League for the best teams in the previous season. Curry Cup, ITM Cup and NRC (with all the current AUS SR franchises pulled down a tier and reform from state teams to city teams).

- Each union sets their league up how they want it with Promotion/Relegation, TV rights distribution, number of foreigners, number of fixtures, play off formats all up to them.

- Each Union keeps all revenue from their league and negotiate their own TV deal. ARU can push for FTA instead of letting SANZAR just organise a a mates rates deal from News LTD.

- Top 4 teams from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand along with 2 from Asia and 2 from the Americas play in a Champions League Tournament played alongside to the regular leagues in the same format as the current Heineken Cup.

- Home and Away group stage followed by Quarters, Semi and Final with hosting rights being given to the team that has currently scored more points/trys. Travel is thus limited to once every couple of weeks and games against foreign teams become special and a real test rather than just a weekly mundane experience.

- Revenue for the Champions League is shared equally between Unions regardless of TV audience in each country.

I favor this option. They could also create a 2nd tier Challenge Cup competition so all of the teams get to play on those weekends.

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby gibbs » Thu, 01 May 2014, 10:44

Argentina is the natural choice.. My personal opinion is they should have been included 2 years ago.. Though better late than never.. Not quite sure how Singapore will come to the equation.. True it has a considerable Sanzar/Brit expat population but a top franchise for a third tire Asian rugby nation ?? If money is the only criteria then yes.. As far as the game actually benefiting then no

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby Sables4EVA » Thu, 01 May 2014, 10:50

For those not on the FIRA forum this is what I posted there.

I have been thinking about the options for the last South African conference team, they are;

Dubai, facilities and finances are not a problem, transport is easy as Emirates cover a lot of the participant cities, the down side is lack of local players and a guaranteed high level of support.

Singapore, same as Dubai but surely would be more in line with Australasia time line wise. oh and Singapore airlines instead of Emirates.

An African team, where would it be based, where would the money come from? This would be great for African rugby but not feasible. Individual countries would not logistically and financially be able to sustain a Super Rugby campaign. Unless the team was based in SA.

USA or Canada, the team would be feasible but the travel might be a problem, especially as one of the main complaints of the present Super Rugby is the excessive travel.

European team, they have just gone through a period of upheaval and I doubt the English or French would be interested, though if the Rabo does become less appealing we may see Celtic or Italian interest.

The final option and in my opinion the most likely is another SA team, taking players that would not normally be considered for the other 6 franchises. Would be a weak team and be labelled "develoment" (Hate that word) but will fit into the tournament structure easily.

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby iul » Thu, 01 May 2014, 10:53

Dubai and Singapore would be just wasted opportunities IMO. The 18th franchise should be in Japan.

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby Sables4EVA » Thu, 01 May 2014, 10:55

But again for Japan, the time difference would make it more feasible to be in one of the Eastern conferences.

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby 4N » Thu, 01 May 2014, 10:55

Firstly I agree that Argentina deserves a second team, then Japan deserve one, in that order.

However, I'm sure the UAR stated that they felt they could only support one team for now (mistake IMO).

And Japan will be scuttled if the 18th franchise must play in the South African conference rather than the Australia/New Zealand one.

This means the 18th team probably has to be timezone friendly to South Africa, or at very least, Argentina.

And further info on the matter from NZ CEO Steve Tew...

Sanzar will now take bids for the final team, who will be part of a South African conference, and there's a number of interested parties, including the West Coast of the United States, Southern Europe and South East Asia where countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan could be involved.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/rugby/news/ar ... d=11247796

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby gibbs » Thu, 01 May 2014, 10:58

4N wrote:Firstly I agree that Argentina deserves a second team, then Japan deserve one, in that order.

However, I'm sure the UAR stated that they felt they could only support one team for now (mistake IMO).

And Japan will be scuttled if the 18th franchise must play in the South African conference rather than the Australia/New Zealand one.

This means the 18th team probably has to be timezone friendly to South Africa, or at very least, Argentina.


If thats the case.. Romania or Georgia comes to mind but how financially viable are those unions in terms for Sanzar ??

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby 4N » Thu, 01 May 2014, 11:01

Not, unless it has the backing of a billionaire. They already have a Singaporean bid with government support, others will have to at least match that in terms of finances.

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby Sables4EVA » Thu, 01 May 2014, 11:02

I think having representative sides form Georgia and Romania will not work because the national sides are busy every year and the Super Rugby campaign would overlap too much over the European season.

Also putting teams that are not the strongest players will not be attractive to SANZAR.

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby gibbs » Thu, 01 May 2014, 11:03

Japan should be the most sensible choice..

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby Sables4EVA » Thu, 01 May 2014, 11:05

gibbs wrote:Japan should be the most sensible choice..


But like I said earlier on, how is the time factor going to help with a Japanese team playing in South Africa, I agree Japan need to have Super Rugby, but the 18th franchise would be in the South African conferences.

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby 4N » Thu, 01 May 2014, 11:09

Tew also mentions that expanding to 20 in the near future is a possibility, that could well mean Argentina 2 and Japan.

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby gibbs » Thu, 01 May 2014, 11:10

Sables4EVA wrote:
gibbs wrote:Japan should be the most sensible choice..


But like I said earlier on, how is the time factor going to help with a Japanese team playing in South Africa, I agree Japan need to have Super Rugby, but the 18th franchise would be in the South African conferences.


Well yeah.. dilemma,dilemma.. Then again Singapore wont solve the problem either it's in the same time zone as well.. Just saying given the two choices as is now it HAS to be Japan

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby Beeman » Fri, 02 May 2014, 12:33

A bit of a messy format isn't it?

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby Sables4EVA » Fri, 02 May 2014, 12:57

Very messy and as usual TV revenue is driving the set up. If they just used their own local competitons like the Currie Cup and the ITM cup (Aus would have to keep the Super rugby format) it would reduce the overload of games the players have to endure.

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby sk 88 » Fri, 02 May 2014, 14:09

Given the team is in the African conference surely it needs to be in their timezone?

Argentina is massive, economically strong and has decent playing depth. 18th team should be second argentinean team. A good derby always builds interest and you have someone to measure yourself against on and off the field.

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby 4N » Fri, 02 May 2014, 14:20

There's now word that South Africa themselves are weighing a bid :|

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby Sables4EVA » Fri, 02 May 2014, 14:21

Just watched a report on TV from CEO of SARU, the 18th franchise will be put up for tender to the whole world and and bids will be judged on "feasibilty ad logistics".

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby jonny24 » Fri, 02 May 2014, 15:32

The idea of reverting to ITM/NRC/Currie cup will never happen. The purpose of Super Rugby is to keep all of the top sanzar players playing top flight rugby. There will only be so many international players on each team, and if they don't qualify then they miss out on playing. Also, I find the Heineken cup set up, where it happens during the regular club season, really unattractive. It should be a post season tournament, for the champions of each league who just finished. That way, it's a direct continuation of playoff/knockout rugby, and the excitement keeps building instead of forgetting about it for three weeks to go back to the regular season.

As for the 18th SR franchise. If Argentina really can't support a second franchise, then I'd say Japan. However, I agree that there would be a lot of issues with time zones, travel, etc. So I ask this. How much opposition would there be to not necessarily keeping the Aussie or NZ teams all in one conference?

Say a team is added in Japan, in the NZ conference. One NZ team could switch to the Oz conference, keeping 5. Western Force then join one of the South African conferences, keeping 5 in the "oz". The travel from Perth to SA is about the same as Buenos Aires to SA.

Far fetched, and not likely to happen I know. Maybe if they made it two conferences instead of four.

Any possible locations, other than Japan, Argentina, and the supposed Singapore bid, seen highly unlikely. I wouldn't mind seeing a North American Select squad. Any US / Canadian national team players who aren't overseas yet would make up most of the squad.
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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby Sables4EVA » Fri, 02 May 2014, 18:44

I would have to agree jonny24, the possibility of using he domestic tournaments is not going to happen it just really bugs me that we have a south african conference and a NZ conference and then we have the Currie Cup, which is basically the SA conference again and the ITM cup which is not the same as the NZ conference but the games are just as intense for the players.

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby Beeman » Fri, 02 May 2014, 19:03

Sables4EVA wrote:I would have to agree jonny24, the possibility of using he domestic tournaments is not going to happen it just really bugs me that we have a south african conference and a NZ conference and then we have the Currie Cup, which is basically the SA conference again and the ITM cup which is not the same as the NZ conference but the games are just as intense for the players.

I've heard these complaints as well from South Africans.

They argue that it's the Australians that are super keen on the derbies as they (at least for the past few years) no domestic competition. But for the South Africans, it takes a bit away from the Currie Cup which is essentially just a repeat of a load of the matches by the time it comes around. And understandably, by the time team's are in possibly their 5th meeting over the year it does get a bit tedious.

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby Sables4EVA » Fri, 02 May 2014, 19:57

It does get tedious and if you notice the crowds in the stands for the South African games there are a lot of empty seats, and the Vodacom Cup is played to almost empty stadiums. Too much of a good thing maybe, and this is why the SA conference is the biggest change in the new Super Rugby format, trying to get more interest in it.

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Re: Super Rugby, the 18th franchise

Postby 4N » Fri, 02 May 2014, 20:13

Empty seats has to be one of Super Rugby's biggest concerns. There were about 14k at Eden Park yesterday. The NZ Warriors have been drawing better than that at the same ground this year.

While there is some rugby fatigue, I believe dwindling crowds are mostly down to the unions being inept at marketing their provinces/franchises.

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