Former All Blacks wing John Kirwan has proposed a new structure for southern hemisphere rugby that would shorten Super Rugby and strengthen domestic tournaments.
The idea would see 14 New Zealand provinces and six Australian teams take part in a 20-team competition, during which the Currie Cup could also be held.
Super Rugby, involving sides from South Africa and Japan, could then take place in a pool format similar to the European Champions Cup.
This could potentially allow the resurrection of the Currie Cup, which has struggled for relevance in a packed rugby calendar.
Kirwan, who played 63 Tests for the All Blacks and coached the Blues, told Stuff.co.nz that his idea has an emphasis on domestic competitions.
‘Super Rugby has been fantastic but domestic competitions are important and need to be strong,’ Kirwan said. ‘The game is changing pretty quickly. There’s a couple of things we need to get back to. We need to get back to some tribalism and some traditionalism, so get back to Auckland, North Harbour, Otago.
‘For example, we would have possibly 14 New Zealand sides and then six Australian sides – get back to their traditional sides – and I think we’ve seen a resurgence of support [in Australia] for them.
‘And then the Japanese play their domestic competitions, the [South] Africans play their domestic competition [Currie Cup], and we could possibly look at a couple of Island sides coming in and then every four to six weeks we break into a four-round Super Rugby where we all play each other.’
Sanzaar is currently looking at the future of Super Rugby, with the current broadcast deal set to expire in 2020.
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