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Thread: How Sanzaar could revamp Super Rugby in 2020

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    Champion SinBin's Avatar
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    How Sanzaar could revamp Super Rugby in 2020

    The long term future of Super Rugby will become clearer this week when Sanzaar releases a strategic report that is expected to reveal a number of options are being considered to revamp the competition in 2020, including taking more games to neutral venues, expanding the number of teams to 18 or sticking with 15 teams but not necessarily all those they currently have.

    The long awaited report is believed to have ruled out any prospect of Super Rugby returning to a straight round-robin format as it was between 1996 and 2010, arguing that the conference model is the only way to deliver a financially sustainable competition.

    This is based on what is now an entrenched position in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa that they believe they have to play two full rounds of home and away local derbies to generate fan interest and gate revenue. They also argue that broadcasters demand that same volume of fearsome local encounters and with these fixtures non-negotiable, there are not enough available weeks to build a format where every team ends up playing every team.

    Having seen how disastrous it was in 2016 and 2017 to run an 18-team competition spread across four conferences where two had five teams and two had four teams, Sanzaar is adamant now that any expansion has to be in multiples of three. There are currently five teams in each conference and if that is to increase, it must be with equal numbers in each.

    But member unions are cautious about introducing three more teams when the current broadcast deal expires at the end of 2019.

    New Zealand has concluded it can't support and doesn't want a sixth team, while both Australia and South Africa have accepted that their current four teams is their optimum number.

    The other two teams currently in Super Rugby - Jaguares of Argentina and Sunwolves of Japan - have struggled since they were introduced in 2016 and the question will have to be asked whether they want to retain their respective places in Super Rugby and whether they should be able to given their lack of impact.

    If one or other pulled out, it would open the prospect of a team from the Pacific Islands being introduced in their place. There is a significant desire within New Zealand to see a Pacific team finally win inclusion, but the difficulty will be finding room for one in the conference format.

    The big hope for the islands is that the New Zealand Rugby Players' Association is able to wield some power and influence in the next 12 months to push Sanzaar in a different direction. The NZRPA is not sold on the idea of having so many local derbies and is convinced that a round-robin format can be rekindled with 14, 15 or even 16 teams.

    Regardless of what format is adopted in 2020, the prospect of teams playing competition games outside the existing territories is likely to happen more. In recent years New Zealand sides have taken home games to Fiji and Samoa, but from 2020 there may be moves afoot to see some games played in the USA, Canada and parts of Asia in an attempt to showcase the tournament in the same way the NFL has been playing games in London.

    The report isn't expected to recommend any significant change to the Rugby Championship, which effectively means New Zealand Rugby will most likely have to persevere with its current plan of playing extra tests each year to make more money.

    NZR chief executive Steve Tew recently told the Herald: "If we were being brutally honest and had a clean sheet and enough money, we would probably play less tests than we do because our top players are asked to share the burden of work more than we would like. But fitting in an extra game - the third Bledisloe we have committed to for another two years - is part and parcel of our reality. If we do a really good job in the next broadcast cycle then maybe there could be less content and higher value per game.

    "There is a huge debate in a sports world at the moment - do you produce more or less and get more or less in return?"

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news...ectid=12019608


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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Super rugby has failed with 18 teams, it's failing with 15 teams and it will fail in any other format. The only thing that might save it is to remove the current administration structure which ensures that voting members willingly destroy the greater organisation in search of individual one upmanship

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    Champion Contributor todd4's Avatar
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    but from 2020 there may be moves afoot to see some games played in the USA, Canada and parts of Asia in an attempt to showcase the tournament in the same way the NFL has been playing games in London.



    If they are seriously thinking of playing games in neutral territory like Canada & the US then they really haven't learnt anything. Playing games where neither teams fans can attend the game and then being shown on pay TV at a time when no-one can watch it will only continue to disengage the fans.

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    Veteran chibi's Avatar
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    I honestly reckon the Indo-Pacific idea had more merit than this.

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    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

    Let's have one of these in WA! Click this link: Saitama Super Arena - New Perth Stadium?

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    Might be doing without the Saffers.....

    http://www.punditarena.com/rugby/ccu...n-teams-pro14/

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    If eir sport is pay tv they are NOT moving in a positive direction

    However, what IS positive is the death knell of SR has now tolled. Wake up Aus rugby, get your own local and national competitions up and running, organised properly without white anting from the usual suspects. You know, build it and they will come. Only when the house is in order look at expanding internationally.....on a timeline!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sittingbison View Post
    If eir sport is pay tv they are NOT moving in a positive direction

    However, what IS positive is the death knell of SR has now tolled. Wake up Aus rugby, get your own local and national competitions up and running, organised properly without white anting from the usual suspects. You know, build it and they will come. Only when the house is in order look at expanding internationally.....on a timeline!
    Yeah it is pay tv with a low subscription base and isn't available for Virgin customers. To get it on Sky you need to pay an extra 20 a month as it comes with the BT Sport package.

    Their service is rubbish the coverage went out during the Ireland v ABs match in Chicago. Some moron sold them the Irish RWC rights so the likes of Aus v Wales, SA v NZ, Eng v France are likely to be on their shithouse channels.

    BT are paying over the odds for sports rights which has seen them jack up prices and now they are shedding 6,500 jobs. Rupert has lost a lot of rights but have a feeling he is playing the long game as rights prices will decrease and most of his competitors have crashed and burned. His broadband is far superior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelling_gerry View Post
    Might be doing without the Saffers.....

    http://www.punditarena.com/rugby/ccu...n-teams-pro14/
    Pundit Arena is usually a joke however they may be on the money. Logic suggests that the other unnamed team is the Bulls. Whether they and the Sharks can get out is another thing all together. Both teams are skint. SARU are looking at restructuring the Currie Cup which may see it incorporated in to the Pro 14 so teams are competing at full strength for it, reduces teams playing each other four times a year and cuts squad costs. Where it leaves the likes of Griquas and Pumas I do not know. SARU are trying to get them in to the Anglo Welsh Cup. It is a nothing comp played with mostly development sides spread out across the season, usually played during the AI and Six Nations windows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    Pundit Arena is usually a joke however they may be on the money. Logic suggests that the other unnamed team is the Bulls. Whether they and the Sharks can get out is another thing all together. Both teams are skint. SARU are looking at restructuring the Currie Cup which may see it incorporated in to the Pro 14 so teams are competing at full strength for it, reduces teams playing each other four times a year and cuts squad costs. Where it leaves the likes of Griquas and Pumas I do not know. SARU are trying to get them in to the Anglo Welsh Cup. It is a nothing comp played with mostly development sides spread out across the season, usually played during the AI and Six Nations windows.
    The Anglo-Welsh Cup would be difficult (but by no means impossible) to amend to allow for the inclusion of the Currie Cup sides. It is treated as a reserves competition by pretty much all the sides, any stars you see in it will mainly be returning from injury. It runs from November to March, although doesn't use the Six Nations window that much - the group stages are mainly over by then. Including the SA sides would massively increase travel and costs, as nowhere in the UK is that far from anywhere else (Newcastle to Exeter is the longest journey, and they may fly for that, but most travel would be via train/coach).

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    Rugby needs to decide what they want to do. Similar to Test Cricket, the pure form Rugby in the Southern Hemisphere is just not cutting the mustard. Big Bash brings in the $$$ and I imagine loses the Blazer Brigade. WSR last Friday evening is heading in the right direction to bring in the $$$. Whilst us old traditionalists will shudder at the interviews on the field after a try is scored, and music being played whilst the game is on - Mums, kids and rugby lovers enjoyed it. My personal belief is that with a few tweaks WSR could become the Big Bash equivalent. It is still 15 a-side, however it encourages a few more attempts at scoring six's ( Power try) etc..

    This version could then help fund community clubs to grow and create more fierce tribalism. Watching the Neddies vs Uni game on Saturday with the Sea of Blue, I felt the quality on show would have enthralled everybody. The contest on the field was tight and some superb backline moves and defence showcased as good rugby as one could imagine.

    SANZAAR post 2020 is dead. Exhibition games in Canada, USA etc. is not the answer. Let's focus on our neck of the woods. Keep matches on our timeline ( +/- 3 hours).

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    Gotta agree with you there Hansie re the entertainment. I remember the start of the big bash everyone was saying the same thing re the music, dancing etc but it certainly got the kids and women attracted to the game hence gradually bigger crowds. Mate the kids and ladies are the people we need attracted to the game. The first thing my young bloke noticed the other week was wolfmother playing at the game, was stoked to go and see wolfmother a good entertaining game of rugby was a massive bonus. On the local front I went and watched Pally vs Roo dogs. Absolutely fantastic games from all grades. First was a ggreat game as well. Hopefully with the force kicking back in we may see some more players coming back to try their luck for contracts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hansie View Post
    Watching the Neddies vs Uni game on Saturday with the Sea of Blue, I felt the quality on show would have enthralled everybody. The contest on the field was tight and some superb backline moves and defence showcased as good rugby as one could imagine.
    It was a great day at Neddies: wonderful hosts and great rugby from both sides with the result in doubt right until the end.

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    Hans, I would think that there is a powerful set of rugby traditionalists who aren't part of "the blazer brigade" I would count myself as one. We don't want to completely alienate the rugby tragics of the state, we want to engage them as much as we engage people who've never seen rugby before.

    Music and Mexican waves competing for your attention with the play will turn any current rugby lover off very quickly, however this sort of stuff could easily be introduced to take into account the traditions of the game.

    I thought the Digeridoo playing while the ball was in the scrum worked, I thought the announcer whipping the crowd up during the extended injury breaks also worked. The constant music during the game was distracting but some well placed sound bites ready to play at key moments of the game would sell a slmilar message without compromising the play. (Play the benny hill music once somebody gets onto a big run, play a sound effect when somebody kicks a bomb, play something after a big tackle) Insert some of this into the background noise of the game and the true fans will accept it, the ones who know nothing about the game will get cues to identify the important moments and everybody will be happy.

    Then the blazer boys can go and watch the Tahs get smashed by a reserve strength New Zealand team whilst they are sipping their Chardonnay and regaling each other with some ripping yarns of the exploits of their youth.

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    Love this interview from Jurie Roux last year

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TapJ6l6JM6s

    Some sly digs at the RA there.

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    Agree on the music in the first half, found that quite annoying. Thought the quiet drumbeat in the second half was very effective though...almost subliminal, but the changing speed and rhythm was very directly matched by the crowd. Well worth experimenting with further.

    One thing they could (maybe?) do is make sports ears available to everyone. Play the commentary and refs mike on a couple of short range AM signals and let anyone with a radio tune in. There is probably nothing they could do that would better teach new fans about the game, or connect the crowd to the match.

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