Georgina Robinson of the SMH is reporting that the SANZAAR reviews into Super, are bringing up some stern proposed models for the future of the competition. A few of those models include the dropping of teams in South Africa and Australia, while another one advances the idea of further expansion.
Accenture, the consultants hired to do the job, have talked to every major stakeholder (the rugby unions involved, plus the teams and the broadcasters), are now in the process of settling on a submission.
However, Robinson stresses that while there are many different models being bandied about, the ARU board got together on Thursday night to mainly discuss the ditching of an Australian team in time for 2018. The ideal structure in those models has a “more workable” (according to Robinson) 16-team,4-to-a-conference competition.
If the ARU were to ditch a team, it would be a retreat from their national strategy. However, as Robinson explains, “it would also be the most obvious and immediate solution to rugby’s intractable financial problems” – made worse by the dire situations at the Brumbies and the Force.
Apparently, the ARU has already told clubs to expect $500k less from head office next year, despite getting a bumper TV deal, while Asteron has decided to not renew their partnership with Super Rugby, which joins the Rugby Championship and the England series as also being naming rights-free.