Super Rugby is dead! But we can rebuild it...
1. Get Rid Of South Africa
They don’t want us so let’s dump them before they dump us. Nobody in New Zealand cares their teams are playing over in Africa in the middle of the night. A competition where half the games are in countries separated by more than 8 hours is stupid.
2. Forget About Argentina & Japan Too
All those long-haul flights are doing more damage than good for our players down here. Perhaps teams can play regular season games in Japan or even China every year but having a team up in Japan and in Argentina, forcing NZ teams playing up there makes no sense.
3. Go Fully Professional With Independent Owners
Open up the teams to be owned by independent owners. Finally, the burden would be removed from the National federations to pay to keep players in the country. Rich owners could help pay to recruit star players to bring their teams back from rock bottom
4. No Restrictions On International Players
With independent big spending owners comes more cash flow into the competition and the ability to keep our best players in the Southern Hemisphere. Another positive it would potentially help keep our fringe All Blacks down under and keep them eligible for the All Blacks as long as they are playing in the Super competition. Kieran Read could play for an Aussie team and enjoy a different lifestyle for his family, as could Brad Shields, Ben Lam and other fringe international players further strengthen the pool of players the All Blacks could pull from. Plus, now we’ve got big spending owners, how about flashing some of that cash and bringing down some of the best English, Scottish, French or South African stars down to play here.
5. Back To 10 Teams Total
By the time you read this SANZAR will probably have agreed to further expansion of the current competition to 35 teams with franchises in the Pacific Islands, USA, Canada and the moon. Which means a weaker talent pool, more blow out games and more teams no-one cares about. So the 10 teams would be based in:
6. 18 Weekend Regular Season With Semi-Finals & Best Of 3 Final Series
The season would run from the end of March through to the end of October with breaks for a northern hemisphere or South Africa/American tour and a Bledisloe Cup series against the Aussies.
Finally, teams will get rewarded for having a surplus in one position and can parlay that strength to help fill a need somewhere else. Or a team needing that one more big star to help them push for a title could trade some of the younger or futures to a team out of the running. Everyone loves a trade!
One of the best things about professional sport is if your team is rubbish at least you have the draft to look forward to and hope that with a bad team comes potentially a good future. New Zealand is a rugby nursery and this would help spread the wealth and evenly distribute the talent around to keep all the teams competitive.
9. At Least One Free To Air Game Per Week
Five games a week which would include a NZ Friday night game, Saturday afternoon NZ game, a Saturday evening NZ game, Australian Saturday evening game and either a Sunday afternoon game in NZ or Aussie. The NZ Friday night or NZ Saturday night game would be on Free To Air TV in New Zealand.
10. A North Vs South State Of Origin Game
This will probably never happen but how cool would a one-off All-Star like game of the best Kiwi players going against each other. But, with all the player movement in the new system, it would be a nice touch to have players come back together and play for the Island they first began playing club rugby in. Helping highlight the grassroots clubs and minor association rugby.
Words by Joseph Durie - Please direct all hate to Joe_Ray_Me on Twitter