With the announcement of the re-shaping of the Super Rugby, the competition looks likely to expand outside the Southern Hemisphere and could potentially lay the groundwork for a global competition.
The new format already includes a team from Argentina, but there is also talk of including a team from Asia, Europe or even North America in a bid to expand the competition globally.
The reaction from the South African camp is seemingly positive with South African Rugby Union CEO Jurie Roux saying the evolution of the competition ‘ticks all the boxes.’
This evolution, according to Roux, is a substantial one that will take the competition to the next level.
“The new format and the expansion into what could potentially be two new continents for Super Rugby is a radical departure for the competition but one that takes the competition to the next level,” said Roux.
“We will have had 20 years of Super Rugby by the time this new structure comes into place and the competition has grown and matured in that time to the place where it was ready to start pushing into new territories.
“The agreed design satisfies the needs of South African rugby, which was built around a number of key principles from SARU’s perspective.”
The key principles agreed upon include:
*The inclusion of a sixth South African team.
*No increase or a reduction in the travel burden on South African players.
*A reduction in the number of derbies.
*The inclusion of a team from Argentina.
Having reached an agreement that benefits South Africa in the re-shape, Roux was happy with the exciting changes.
“The agreed format delivers on a reduction in the historic travel burden on our players as well as answering our need for a sixth place in the competition,” said Roux.
“We are delighted to welcome a new entrant from our old friends, Argentina, and there is also a reduction in the number of South African derbies, which are seen as being particularly attritional on our players.
“It was a long hard, negotiation with a large number of alternative formats considered and discarded because they did not fulfil the key criteria. This new model offers a major new step forward for Super Rugby with the potential to grow further.”