The showpiece of Southern Hemisphere rugby is about to kick off. Usually around this time of year, I have a complicated spreadsheet designed and the fixtures posted up on my wall and saved in my calendar. I know all the player movements, I’ve done research on new coaches and I’ve predicted who the surprise team of the year will be!
This year I haven’t..
SANZAR, the body that run SupeRugby have finally tinkered with it too much for me to be passionate about it anymore. They’ve added three teams, one from Argentina (yes!), one from South Africa, the Southern Kings (the union can’t even pay salaries and the president is holding onto power by using Mugabe-esque tactics) and the Sunwolves from Japan.
Now, SANZAR will tell you that the old format is stale, that it needs to be updated to keep people interested… I disagree. People were interested when it was the Super 12 and even the Super 14. The games were good, the teams were all pretty strong and the stadiums generally full or at least close to full. The English Premier League doesn’t tinker with its format. Why? Because it works!
I’d like to ask a question. Why a team from Japan? Japan would be better served in an Asia or Americas competition.
Why didn’t they give a franchise to Manu Samoa, Fiji, Tonga or even all three?
If anyone deserves a Super franchise it is them. Long ignored despite their abundance of talent and skill they have been overlooked again. Imagine what good the investment in these countries would do? Imagine the joy it would bring their fans!
I’d watch The Blues from Auckland vs The Mighty Fijians every day of the week, as opposed to say, the EP Kings vs The Melbourne Rebels? Who really wants to see that? Be honest, only people from Port Elizabeth and Melbourne…