Future of Super Rugby

Seedsfan

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Oct 10, 2013
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The competition is a bit disjointed and hard to follow what would be the best solution to this going forward. I am not in favour of killing off any of the Australian teams as I don't think that's the answer. If one did have to go I would say it would be either my Rebels or the Force
 

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robbieando

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Personally I would have the Australian and New Zealand teams playoff against each other home and away to allow for more derbies and less travel and allow South Africa/Argentina to split off to do their own thing. Problem is New Zealand and South Africa see themselves as natural partners and Australia a tag along so it will either to stay as is, change the set up or lose clubs in Japan, Australia and South Africa (at least 2 there).

Its not an easy one for it to work
 

Seedsfan

Norm Smith Medallist
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Personally I would have the Australian and New Zealand teams playoff against each other home and away to allow for more derbies and less travel and allow South Africa/Argentina to split off to do their own thing. Problem is New Zealand and South Africa see themselves as natural partners and Australia a tag along so it will either to stay as is, change the set up or lose clubs in Japan, Australia and South Africa (at least 2 there).

Its not an easy one for it to work
Maybe lengthen the season play all the Aussie and NZ teams twice 18 games plus 4 of the rest have it as a 22 game season
 

Seedsfan

Norm Smith Medallist
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Seeings it will probably be the Force or Rebels that go I had a look at what the side could look like if the playing lists merged. This is the starting 15 I came up with;
15 Haylett-Petty
14 Niavalu
13 Rona
12 Hodge
11 Peni
10 Lance
9 Stirzaker
8 Mafi
7 McMahon
6 Hodgson
5 Coleman
4 Timani
3 Weeks
2 Polota-Nau
1 Smith
 

thegreig

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As a bit of an outsider looking in, why not merge Melbourne and the ACT?
Call them South East Brumbies, HQ could be in Melbourne where they play 6 games at AAMI and 2 at GIO in Canberra (give or take). Both regions supplying talent to the one team. That way the Brumbies history and fans somewhat remain whithout losing the huge growth area of Victoria
 

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chibimatty

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Would certainly get rid of the Kings. The Japanese Top League clubs and the JRFU need to be given a swift kick in the backside to get fully behind the SunWolves otherwise they are embarrassment to the competition and they can go too.
 

Seedsfan

Norm Smith Medallist
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As a bit of an outsider looking in, why not merge Melbourne and the ACT?
Call them South East Brumbies, HQ could be in Melbourne where they play 6 games at AAMI and 2 at GIO in Canberra (give or take). Both regions supplying talent to the one team. That way the Brumbies history and fans somewhat remain whithout losing the huge growth area of Victoria
As a Melbourne Rebels member I would not buy a membership for a South East Brumbies
 

Bomberboyokay

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Somebody's getting cut. Wouldn't be a wall of silence if the outcome was "Everybody gets to keep their team yay!".

The timing is incredible, one month into a new season. The death sentenced team's crowds will desert it as soon as the announcement is made. They will get belted week after week while everybody in the organisation is preoccupied with sorting out what they're doing after July. What was so pressing on the SANZAAR agenda that they couldn't sort this out at some point between last August and before this season began? :drunk:

If the Melbourne team gets cut, the ARU really are stupid.
 

Seedsfan

Norm Smith Medallist
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We have named a 48 man squad for the under 20s world champs and this is the break down of where those players are from
QLD 17
NSW 12
VIC 9
ACT 8
WA 2
The fact Victoria supplied the third most is a big plus for the Rebels rugby is growing in this city
 

chibimatty

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What's bothering me as a WA rugby fan, is that our major claim for inclusion was our rugby community's size, strength and development. It's a real problem when we can't produce future players, and we have four losses from four games in the under-20s at the moment.*** Add to that our crowds have dwindled to less than our original season ticket holder numbers, and it looks bleak for WA.

***Disclaimer: I do realise that all but two players in the WA U20 squad are Western Australian, while the ACT and Vic teams in particular have recruited from outside of the union for the purposes of future development, so I shouldn't be too hard on WA, all things considered.
 
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chibimatty

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Link added.

The crippling SANZAAR crisis over the size and composition of Super Rugby is expected to be resolved within days, and the news isn’t good for the Western Force.

Although the Australian Rugby Union hasn’t made a definitive call – and won’t until it is confirmed that the Super Rugby competition next year will be reduced from the existing 18 teams to 15 – the Force is believed to have been earmarked to be culled.

The Brumbies are not yet entirely out of the woods but sources have indicated the Force is the most likely to be axed.

Both SANZAAR and the Australian Rugby Union told The Australian today they expect an announcement “within a couple of weeks” but it is understood a press conference could be staged in Sydney as early as next week.

There is still lots of ground to be covered, however, starting with the broadcasters from the four SANZAAR joint venture countries, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina. It is understood they initially were prepared to consider a reduction in the size of the competition down to 15 but only if it involved dropping the Jaguares of Argentina and the Sunwolves of Japan. Presumably the Southern Kings of South Africa would also be culled on a “last in, first out” basis.

The next sticking point revolves around whether compensation will be paid if broadcasters have less content to put to air but the ARU has made it known that it still wants the same money if the competition is reduced in size.

Any talk of broadcasters being compensated is regarded as a deal- breaker, in which case Super Rugby would continue as an 18-team series. But if, as sources say, broadcasters are now close to an agreement then it raises a whole host of issues.

The continuing rumour is that SANZAAR is determined to push ahead with a 15-team competition but with one Australian and two South African teams to be culled.

Yet even that has been called into question with a weekend report from a South African website, Sport24, quoting SA Rugby president Mark Alexander that a lot of water had to flow under the bridge before that would happen. But the report also contained some serious factual errors. It indicated that Price Waterhouse Cooper had presented its finding on Super Rugby to the recent SANZAAR crisis meeting London when, in fact, it was Accenture. It also claimed the initial decision about how would make up Super Rugby would be made at the next scheduled SANZAAR board meeting in Japan on May 11-12.

But SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos told The Australian today that by that stage the Japan meeting would have moved on to discussing future strategy. In other words, the tough decisions would already have been made.

“That’s not the content we’re going to be discussing,” said Marinos, who indicated that the call would be made within a couple of weeks.


Yet the situation is nothing short of chaotic. Although the expectation is that some details will crystalize in the coming days, even the ARU board has not heard the final arguments. A phone hook-up of board members is scheduled for early next week but such is the magnitude of what is being discussed – the very survival of one of the Super Rugby clubs – that nothing less than a vote while seated around the table will satisfy some directors. Nor is there any guarantee that whatever recommendation ARU chief executive Bill Pulver makes will be accepted by the board.

Another factor is that the South African Rugby Union’s general assembly is not scheduled to meet until April 6 and the ARU is hardly likely to take any independent action until it hears from the joint venture partner that effectively holds the fate of Super Rugby in its hands.

It is believed that the ARU’s “war gaming” of the crisis has reduced the number of potential victims from three to two, with the Melbourne Rebels seemingly in the clear.

The Victoria Government has already made its position clear, suggesting that funding set aside in the state budget for the construction of a Rugby centre of excellence at one of Melbourne’s universities might be jeopardised if the Rebels are culled, along with planned Bledisloe Cup Tests.

But now the $5 million paid for the 2019 Bledisloe Test in Perth could also be threatened if the Force is removed from the competition. Given that the WA Government assisted with a $2 million establishment grant when the Force was set up in 2006 – repaid within two years – and then helped with the construction of their headquarters and the refurbishment of their playing ground at nib Stadium, the repercussions of axing the club could be horrendous.

But if the axe does fall, the kindest method might be to merge the Canberra-based Brumbies with the Rebels to form the Melbourne Brumbies, whose home games would be played primarily at AAMI Park but with a few at Canberra’s GIO Stadium. And with Steve Larkham in his last season with the Brumbies before joining the Wallabies coaching staff fulltime, it would also solve the problem of finding them a coach, with the Rebels’ Tony McGahan taking on the merged club.

Meanwhile, despite so much discussion of Australia joining with New Zealand to form a trans-Tasman competition – with South Africa cut loose to join the European competition – the ARU is planning to conduct no market research on this weekend’s round six of Super Rugby, when the Rebels, Force, Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs will each play a Kiwi team.
 
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Milang_Panthers

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Melbourne brumbies is a terrible idea. Sad for the force if true but as someone who lives in perth i dont actually know anyone that goes WF games.
 

Maester

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I think Australian rugby will go into a death spiral if they cut a team. It's immediately going to lose the sport thousands of fans and potential fans, and set grassroots development back a huge amount in whichever region is cut. It'll also anger a lot of rugby fans in other states, it'll p**s off players and coaches. There'll be big political and public relations consequences.

And it's ridiculous, why cut a team from relatively big markets like Perth and Melbourne? If there aren't enough good Australian players bring in more imports. Rugby is fortunate to have a global player market.

But the bigger issue is that I don't think Super Rugby really works for Australia like it does for NZ and SA. Here rugby is a smaller sport in a super competitive market and the small number of teams, short season and lack of tribalism in Super Rugby ensures it gets drowned out by other sports that have much greater reach, heaps more content and that are optimised for local fans. Super Rugby is a mishmash of competing interests that is capable of attracting the odd year of large bandwagon support in one or two places, but has no chance of competing in general. The fact our teams all disappear for a couple of weeks every year to play in the middle of the night against South African teams that few people know much about (where they're from, who their key players are etc) is one of the biggest problems. A Trans-Tasman competition would work best for Australia but the NZRU have never seemed to have any appetite for it.

With the money in Europe increasing it seems inevitable to me that at some point the whole model is going to collapse anyway, and rugby will become like soccer in Australia, with most of the Wallabies based overseas, and a lower level professional competition here. But that may well be for the best, as at least such a competition would have some reach and visibility in all the key markets, well-scheduled games each week etc. And it would still be a pretty good standard. It would be a bit of medicine for the game in the short term but may at least provide a foundation to grow from. And it could help the Wallabies as well by not limiting who can be picked.
 

chibimatty

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...lack of tribalism in Super Rugby...
Indeed, the lack of brand recognition is a real problem. I remember when it first started in the 90s, it was such a cool concept that we would be able to play against, what were at the time, famous rugby provinces at grand test grounds. It was a thrilling idea to be playing the great Transvaal at Ellis Park, Northerns at Loftus, WP at Newlands, Auckland at Eden Park, Wellington at the old Athletic Park, going to the Deep South Carisbrook House of Pain, Queensland at Ballymore, etc, etc... These were all famous rugby names and the great test match grounds of the southern hemisphere. Somehow, they've managed to lose that historical geographic rugby identity, and that has been one of the factors that has hurt the Australians the most, more than NZ and SA, seeing as it's not our mainstream media sport. No one from outside of rugby knows who these generically named teams are or what the history is behind them.
 
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Scotland

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http://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/rugby/aru-boss-bill-pulver-says-no-decision-has-been-made-on-super-rugby-changes/news-story/24f8b46b6d36bc75414dc40606208b56

“This week it’s been the Force. Last week it was the Rebels and the week before that it was the Brumbies. It hasn’t been a consistent theme at all.”

For an Australian franchise to be axed, two other steps would need to fall into place.

Firstly, South Africa would need to agree to cut two of their teams — a situation that is by no means guaranteed given the political climate there.

Secondly, the various broadcasters would need to agree to maintain the same level of financial input in a reduced competition.
She-mozzle.

Why would South Africa vote to cut two of their own teams?

TV rights deal was signed for 2016-2010. Why would Fox Sports and their equivalents agree to 7 matches a round instead of 9?

If it was me I'd chop the Brumbies. Small market, not successful off-field and really only survive off geographical proximity to NSW. What do you really gain from having a team in NSW and ACT? With the exception of Gregan and Larkham the majority of their good players have come out of Sydney anyway.

I suspect if one Australian team is axed it will be the Force, though. Second newest kid on the block and not privately owned like the Rebels. Perth does offer a 2 hour time difference to EST which appeals to the broadcasters and South African TV market. I also think while the Force have been perennially ordinary having a Super Rugby team in Perth has been good for the local comp and developing WA talent.
 

The_Reaper

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Doesn't South Africa generate the majority of the tv revenue by some margin?

Why would they be cutting South African teams?
 

Maester

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Doesn't South Africa generate the majority of the tv revenue by some margin?

Why would they be cutting South African teams?
I don't think it's that big a margin. But yeah, I'd be surprised if the South Africans agree to cutting 2 teams. The primary driver of broadcast revenue growth in the last deal actually came from a bidding war in the UK, though admittedly South African games are in the best time zone for viewers in the UK. But the Australian games would have some value for them too because the games here on a Saturday night are on at a reasonable time in the morning over there and don't clash with any of the big local sport (primarily the Premier League and other soccer).
 

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