Super Rugby being 'diluted'
Is Super Rugby expansion a super idea?
Are plans to expand Super Rugby to 18 teams and include a side from Japan or Singapore on the right track? We asked rugby fans to share their views.
Alastair Kay raises five key concerns:
1. To walk away from South Africa would be an idiotic move - they are the only rugby nation which inspires mutual respect with New Zealand. Not having South African teams would make a mockery of the competition.
2. Adding teams from Japan and Singapore will only dilute the competition as players will be attracted, and drawn, from existing teams.
3. We need to listen to the opinions of Springboks coach Jake White in this respect - as he is arguably the most successful coach of the last decade. White has expressed concern about mismatched games hindering teams' progress and worry that the crossover games between the groups will not result in a fair competition.
4. Rather than add teams, just have a round robin with each team playing each other team once, leading to two semi-finals and a final (a bit like it was when it started). Home games could automatically become away games in the following season.
4. If any teams must be added, they should come from the Pacific Islands. Alternatively, add a Pacific Island team to the Rugby Championship. We have sadly neglected our Pasifika neighbours for too long.
5. If money is the sole driver of proposed changes (and it sure looks that way), then that may be solved by strengthening the existing competition as suggested above, and drawing back crowds which equates to generation of funds.
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