Super Rugby set for radical structural overhaul


The heads of all three SANZAR nations have agreed on a radically changed structure for the future of Super Rugby. The NZRU’s Steve Tew, ARU’s Bill Pulver and SARU’s Jurie Roux have all thrown their weight behind a new conference structure, starting in 2016.

The changes will see the competition expand to 18 teams, split into four, rather than three, conferences, that will run in two groups – Australasia and South Africa. There will be five teams in each of the Australasian conferences, and four each in the South African ones.

There will also be an Argentinian team in the competition for the first time ever. A sixth South African franchise, the Southern Kings, and another team – possibly from Japan – will make up the other two additional teams.

Each team will play 15 regular season matches – eight home/seven away or vice versa every second year – and the season will be a week shorter. There will be 135 regular season games plus seven final series matches, compared with the current format of 120 and five.

The Finals Series will feature eight teams – five from the Australasian conferences and three from the South African conferences – to be played in a classic quarters, semis and final format. The four conference winners will progress, as will the next three highest-ranked teams in the Australasian Group, and the next team in the South African group.

What do you make of the new format? Do you think it will improve the Super Rugby season?

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

6 thoughts on “Super Rugby set for radical structural overhaul

  1. The expansion to Argentina/Japan is fantastic for the sport and will make for an interesting precedent – Opening the possibility for Tier 2/3 sides in Europe to start getting a more significant showing in the European cups?

    Quite how a Japanese side will play fortnightly games in South Africa though is anyone’s guess. A round the world flight once every two weeks and SA squads coming to them alternate weeks? I don’t envy anyone involved in that idea.

  2. While a Japanese team would be fantastic, a team based in the Pacific Islands would be amazing and could only benefit world rugby. It could play half its games in Suva (Fiji) and the other half in Apia (Samoa), and maybe one or two a season in Nuku?alofa (Tonga).

  3. I liked Superrugby when it was just 14 teams. I have just gotten used to the extra team and now they wanna screw it up even more?? I’m not fond of this at all.

  4. Why mess with something that works so well, don’t get me wrong im all for the expanding of the game, but this is just becoming another rugby tournament. Super rugby is exclusively southern hemisphere rugby, the best of the best.

    I’m not sold on this idea, I guess I’m gonna have to wait and see. Maybe I’m wrong.

  5. Why mess with something that works so well, this is becoming nothing more than just another rugby tournament. Super Rugby is exciting southern hemisphere rugby, the best
    of the best.

    I would have to be proven wrong.

  6. I think this will be good for the younger players also to get more opportunities.

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