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Thread: Plan to expand Super season

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    Champion KenyaQuin's Avatar
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    Plan to expand Super season

    Plan to expand Super season
    Greg Growden Chief Rugby Correspondent | March 13, 2008 Plan to expand Super season - rugbyheaven07.com.au

    A 6-MONTH tournament, more local derbies, a six-team final series and a new side in Tokyo are part of Australia's radical plan to revitalise Super rugby.

    Australian Rugby Union chief executive and SANZAR director John O'Neill last night revealed high-level discussions had begun to dramatically revamp the Super 14 tournament in a way which would delight television broadcasters, spectators and the provinces, which are demanding more home games.

    The plan would expand the Super season from 16 weeks to 26 weeks.

    The revamped tournament, based on the addition of at least one more team, would be in a two-round format. The first round would be like the present Super 14, in which teams play each other once. The second round would feature "local derbies" among the home teams of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

    Then the final series, most likely to involve the top six teams, would be held over the next month, extending the tournament from February to late August. The Tri Nations series would be held straight after the Super tournament, with domestic Tests involving the northern hemisphere countries likely to be played midweek.

    And O'Neill wants the Super tournament extended a fourth country, as he believes the lucrative Japanese market would provide the competition with a considerable financial boost.

    "We are very serious about Japan," he said last night. "We want to really accelerate Japan's move into the proper professional era. There is the possibility of a Bledisloe Cup being played in Tokyo, a Pacific Rim tournament, and a team based in Japan playing in Super rugby.

    "We're trying to expand Super rugby to 26 weeks. And the possibility of joint venturing a team in Japan, with half the team Japanese and the other half foreign players - predominantly Australian - is worth a look."

    The dramatic increase in product would appease broadcasters when SANZAR renegotiates the TV deal in 2010, and O'Neill believes the teams will be enticed by the extra home games, which so many provinces rely on as their prime financial source.

    Local derbies will also delight the Tri Nations Test coaches, as they will provide strong selection trials just before the internationals.

    "What's in it for the franchises in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand is that they all get a significant increase in home games," O'Neill said.

    "In the AFL and NRL, the teams don't actually play each other twice. This is a version of a round and a half, where the second round are local derbies. Then we go to a really big final series, which would be promoted almost as a new product. We could really pump up that finals series, so it becomes a serious knockout competition."

    O'Neill, meanwhile, expects to announce the replacement for the ARU's high-performance unit manager Pat Howard by the end of next month. Former Wallaby and current Auckland Blues coach David Nucifora remains on top of the ARU hit list.

    The ARU will also next week reply to a letter from the 22 NSW and Queensland clubs demanding the national body continues full funding of premier rugby next year.

    "We've got the letter," O'Neill said. "We're taking it seriously and we will be responding. There are a number of factual errors in the letter, which we will correct. Funding is only one issue that pertains to club rugby. There are many other issues we need to address together with the NSW and Queensland rugby unions to ensure club rugby's positioning in the hierarchy is appropriate."

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    Champion prop53's Avatar
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    Champion Contributor no.8's Avatar
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    mmm...more rugby is a good thing, me thinks!
    More Rugby means a more games.
    More games means a better case for more stadium.
    More stadium means more rugby.
    More Rugby.....

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    JO'N has been bleating about this since before his stiff neck was operated on....the only problem is...two thirds of SANZAR don't want it!

    The Saffers have a very successful Currie Cup, that they don't want to give up, The Kiwis have the ANZ cup.....I've not heard the raves that I've heard abotu Currie Cup, but it's heartland rugby and therefore seen as valuable!

    This will be another witchunt designed to make it look like he's doing something about the loss of the ARC!

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    C'mon the

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    Legend Contributor fulvio sammut's Avatar
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    April 1 is not for three weeks yet....

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    Veteran BLR's Avatar
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    He needs to shut his mouth and stop spraying these ideas of his like a machine gun on the Western Front.

    Look at the problems at home before you start looking elsewhere, when you get a domestic competition like the one you axed then start dreaming big, we need to at least be on par with the other SANZAR nations before you try to take the lead in anything, we are the WEAKEST out of the three in just about every way, why do you think you matter?

    Does he even consult the other SANZAR nations, if not in 2010 they will tell him to piss off and go to Asia if he wants...absolute tosser...

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    Senior Player Contributor gustafsl's Avatar
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    I like the idea of more Super Rugby but I think this plan needs to be thought out a lot more. Let's assume they add one team in Japan, and that team would play against the Australian teams during the "local derby" part of the season, so that there are 5 SA, 5 AUS/JP, 5NZ. That works out great during that part of the season as you'd play the other 4 teams in your area (2 home, 2 away) and each team would have one week off. But what about during the first part of the season? You would have 15 teams, so one team would have to sit out each week. Not such a big problem, except a little unfair for the team that gets week 1 off and then has to play 14 straight weeks, compared to a team that ends up with week 10 off, a nice little break at the business end of the season. I know they are all about the money so a team in Tokyo looks great. But I think if they are headed in this format they would be better off keeping the teams as they are, but to make up the one game difference for the Aus teams we would just play an extra game against one of the other Aus teams. They could even pair up the teams ie: QLD vs NSW and EWF vs BRUM. So every year there would be 3 QLD vs NSW games and 3 EWF vs BRUM games. They could build up those rivalries and even come up with some stupid trophies for the event (we all know rugby loves trophies).

    Also, I am a bit concerned that tests against NH teams are going to be moved to mid week. I can't see us putting out a full strength squad on a Wednesday if we've got to play the All Blacks on the Saturday. So we'd end up just as bad as the NH teams coming here with 2nd or 3rd string squads.

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    Legend Contributor Flamethrower's Avatar
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    This is how the Kiwis headed the story.


    Aussie unveils radical S14 expansion idea
    Ideas only in preliminary stage - NZRU

    Aussie unveils radical S14 expansion idea - New Zealand's source for sport, rugby, cricket & league news on Stuff.co.nz

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    Credit to him for looking ahead and plans post-2010 need to be made now, but what a load of crap...does he even think about what he says or is he as surprised and appalled as the rest of us at what falls out of the mouth of the ARU boss? Honestly, half the problem the NH has with the ELVs is that he is the cheerleader so there has to be something sneaky going on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamethrower View Post
    ...Ideas only in preliminary stage - NZRU
    So the Kiwi response is:
    "John has floated one option that would clearly suit the Australian set of circumstances, probably better than ourselves or South Africa. The NZRU has made a commitment inside the Sanzar organisation to have a very open mind as to what the next version of Super rugby might look like. There are any number of things we would need to consider, though, in terms of finding our position. There needs to be a more strategic look at how Super rugby might unfold. We wouldn't dismiss John's thoughts out of hand... we see the gateway to Asia as being important. But there's also a considerable amount of talking and thinking and analysing and assessment to be done before we would favour one or other of any expansion of Super rugby."

    Maybe it is just me, but that has all the same mealy-mouthed flavour as:
    "I have been advocate of an intermediate competition between Club Rugby and Super Rugby for a long time. I have also said that the competition must be viable and sustainable, and that we will review it at the end of the year. That does not mean it will be dismantled, nor does it mean it will not change."

    I wonder if JO'N appreciates the irony?

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    Champion KenyaQuin's Avatar
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    Good to see some sort of vision coming from the ARU in the past few weeks. While it would appear that the ARU is the more desperate of the 3 SANZAR members to offer a better package and thus attract more dollars into its coffers (hence their constant spray of ideas), it is after all the one with the greater flexibility to offer such an extended season BECAUSE WE HAVE NO DOMESTIC COMPETITION. Where is the vision there..any ideas, JO'N?

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenyaQuin View Post
    it is after all the one with the greater flexibility to offer such an extended season BECAUSE WE HAVE NO DOMESTIC COMPETITION.
    The ARC was a good concept but looks like it a shot duck. A longer Super Season would probably give the non-Walabies the exposure needed, even with just the four franchises, to develop to international standard.

    The stumbling block will be the other 2 SANZAR bodies. If the monetary benefits of more Super matches could be shown to potentially outweigh what the ANZ & Currie Cups can generate they may be more interested in the concept.

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    Senior Player Contributor gustafsl's Avatar
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    I'm really surprised that they didn't give the ARC another year to see what it can do. They could have played the games in smaller stadiums to try and keep costs down and maybe get rid of a couple teams. Now they have put all their eggs in one basket hoping that NZ and SA will want to expand the Super 14. What if they both say no, or even worse SA decides to play in Europe. We'd be in real trouble with no club competition to fall back on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenyaQuin View Post
    Plan to expand Super season
    Greg Growden Chief Rugby Correspondent | March 13, 2008 Plan to expand Super season - rugbyheaven07.com.au

    A 6-MONTH tournament, more local derbies, a six-team final series and a new side in Tokyo are part of Australia's radical plan to revitalise Super rugby.

    yeahhh i think i can cope with that. I love rugby but the Super14 season is so SHORT ahhh thank god they're finally doing something about it

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    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    what about the travel turnaround from japan? espically for the south african and kiwis?
    there not going to go for it

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