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3493 Topic: Super Rugby mulls global expansion options

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Super Rugby mulls global expansion options
January 24, 2013, 03:34:29

 Todd Clever

NZ Stuff  Getty Images

FURTHER EXPANSION : USA captain Todd Clever has experienced Super Rugby action with the Lions.


Canada and the United States are a step closer to inclusion in an expanded Super Rugby competition in 2016.

Both sides have been included in the Pacific Nations Cup this year, a move praised by SANZAR boss Greg Peters.

"We are considering whether or not we will include new territories in Super Rugby and one of the factors we'll be weighing up is their competitiveness," Peters told The Australian yesterday.

"Super Rugby in its present form is a pretty successful model ... and we are not going to water it down. But we'd be derelict in our duty if we didn't consider expanding into areas. The United States is a very big market and so is Japan and Asia generally. Ultimately it all comes down to what is in the best interests of the three SANZAR parties."

South Africa, Australia and New Zealand will decide later this year whether or not to expand the competition in 2016 when the next broadcast deal starts.

Peters said the travel factor would be a major part of the decision as the competition already involves the most travel of any sports league in the world.

"Player welfare is a big consideration. That said, the conference system does provide us with a degree of flexibility, either in terms of adding new conferences or adding new teams to existing conferences."

The Pacific Nations Cup will provide Canada and the US with their first taste of regular international competition against sides from Japan, Fiji and Tonga.


StunTheMullet27 minutes ago
Guess this just means we have some more nations teams to prop up with players and coaches.
Craig F30 minutes ago
The more rugby there is, the more selective I become. T
The more rugby there is, the less I worry about anything but an AB match. But even now AB matches (like the UK end-of-year tours) are more to do with revenue generation and actual sport (people have KPI's to meet).

I now liken rugby to a soap opera - if you missed today's game, don't worry, there will be another must-win game tomorrow.
dunbard34 minutes ago
Hmmmm Greg Peters my opinion of him is very low in terms of strategic thinking unless there is a twist, his remarks are way off umbrella a tournament then bring the winners of all the competitions together and play a finals type system...super rugby, heineken cup etc maybe even include currie cup and ITM with the higher honours of super and heinken taking the player option.
MikeB34 minutes ago
I reckon they should keep SANZAR rugby seperate so we will not loose our compeditiveness and sign Japanese teams with the Canadian and American teams to a seperate JCAR conference. Then they could do a conference system like the NFL, culminating in a "Superbowl" like championship game with the winners of each conference.
AustinBeaglehole44 minutes ago
I say, hopefully will not happen. The last thing we need is more of this flawed game, least of all at a very poor level; although I guess such bad teams would give the good players of good teams a chance to rest, which seems to be a part of the game at club level these days; and now making an appearance at international level with McCaw on sabbatical. I mean really(!) A professional footballer on sabbatical? Goodness me!

I don't understand how it could happen with the current conference format anyway; there would need to be at least 5 North American teams, if not 5 teams from USA and 5 teams from Canada. At that rate it might as well be just 4 domestic leagues, with the winners playing semifinals then a final.
Ruggez46 minutes ago
Super rugby is not the way to grow rugby in North America. Having one or two teams from two countries that size is a joke. USA and Canada need to get there own professional competition going first and then Rugby will take off. If athletes know there is money and professional opportunities in playing the game then they will play. If a country like Spain can start a pro league then surely USA can. Americans are a tribal bunch and love the state vs state and city vs city rivalry. Having one team or two teams play in the Super rugby competion will be a massive failure when most Americans dont even know where NZ is so why would they care about a team playing in our competition!!
Each country should get their own professional competitions going first and then create a Heineken Cup style format or a Champions League competition.
Bennytheboy48 minutes ago
promotion/releg­ation vs conference. This could work. I bet 1 professional team from the US could be quite a powerful force in 10 years time.
Jonesy58 minutes ago
jeez these guys have not one iota in their little brains about what we want, gl to them, another fan who will be leaving....
TheRealDeal1 hour ago
I don't see why this poses any real problems. Once you come to the logical conclusion that the ITM Cup is an amateur competition that will only see the top players if they need game time after an injury lay-off, then the length of the season isn't an issue at all.

The travel factor is a key issue, but if you can extend the competition then you can add extra bye weeks.
A pool system of Perth-SA-Arg, and then 2 'Pacific' pools to cover NZ-East Aus-Nth Am isn't such a drama.
5x NZ side, 4x Aus, 1x Nth Am = 2x pools of 5. Home and away is 8 games, or 9 games if it was just 10 teams playing each other once.

Leaves the other side a bit lean, but SA kind of have 6 teams with the Lions/Kings debacle, and I'd wonder about the possibility of a Namibian based side. They had some good players in the RWC.

Ultimately, North America is a massive market and if SANZAR get a foot hold there then financially rugby in this part of the world is secure. I can't see the Saffas wanting to travel to LA or Vancouver much though, so maybe rugby becomes split into Pacific and Euro/African regions.
Rod1 hour ago
No problem with this unless these new teams start poaching our players. Its already bad enough that the Aussies are doing it.
R_Star1 hour ago
Come 2016 when the new negotioations on are the table & if there is a copious amount of $$$$ to be made, the expansion could possibly go ahead to include USA & Canada Super Franchise(s) (regardless of wear and tear on players). I personally wouldnt mind seeing rugby brand being showcase overseas for the well being of the game, and imagine the opportunites it could create for Young Youth in NZ who are not cutting it in school or in the neighbouring pacific islands.. I guess only time will tell
larksea1 hour ago
I think the inclusion of Argentina in the tri nations will be seen as a success and a catalyst for changes elsewhere. Super rugby is due for something new other than extra aussie teams full of kiwis.
binthinkin1 hour ago
I think sanzar really need to think about how long the season is already and the level of compeditivness that is seriously lacking. i would have thought introducing new venues like the stadiums in maylasia or even india would have been more benificial than to expand an already over inflated competion. Got to wonder how fit some of the teams are spending so much time flying.
watcher1 hour ago
Has anyone checked with Morgan to make sure he's okay with this? ;o )
Denise Summers1 hour ago
"Player welfare is a big consideration. That said....". So in other words, they'll consider it and then expand an already tired and overly long competition until they run the players and the fans into the ground.

It would be far better to have our ITM Cup, with full strength teams (ie All Blacks in there) and the top four going into a comp with the top four from SA and whatever top four Aussie could have if they ever had a proper domestic comp. At least this way the teams lining up wont be the same ones every year.

Kiwi in Perth1 hour ago
Nice proposal but the US and Canada teams would be expected to stay in NZ or Aus for most of their games to make it work. Otherwise travel time is two great. Lets just see how the Argies go before we start getting ahead of ourselves.
TJM1 hour ago
Super Rugby is already long and boring and has been killed off some by the conference system in my view.

Saying that i'd like to see it stay in it's present format rather expand and would rather see the old tours come back. I know it will never happen because of the need for TV rights but I would like to see something like the following 4 year cycle.

Year 1 AB tour RSA / Aus
Aus tour Arg USA Can
SA tour UK/France
Year 2 Expanded Rugby Championship ( ie add Canada US Japan Pacific Tonga Fiji and Samoa but each only plays the other once)
SA tour NZ / Aus
NZ tour Arg US Can
Aus tour UK/France
Year 3. SA tour Arg US Can
NZ tour UK France
Aus tour NZ SA
Mix of international tours and tests to fit around world cup build ups

Fit in hosting some minnows and northern hemisphere touring down under and we would have an interesting mix of rugby. As it is above is not a perfect knit but take the idea and tweak it and I think it would be interesting and grow the game.


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