NZ outvoted on Super Rugby changes

New Zealand Rugby's attempts to have the Super Rugby playoffs format altered were allegedly thwarted by South Africa and Australia.

The new-look 18-team competition structure was widely criticised this year, mainly because of the draw and certain teams hosting playoff matches despite other sides accumulating more log points during the round-robin phase.

Nevertheless, Sanzaar chief executive Andy Marinos confirmed earlier this week that there will be no changes to the format in 2017.

Reacting to this announcement, New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew has said that his organisation lobbied furiously for changes to be made, but was met with resistance.

'We couldn't get agreement from Australia and South Africa,' Tew told New Zealand media in a conference call on Friday. 'We've tried and haven't completely given up, but it's unlikely we'll get any substantial change in the finals format next year.

'If there are any changes for 2018, then that gives another chance to have that debate. We think it makes much more sense to have a straight top eight. It makes it a lot easier for the fans. They can almost disregard the complications of the conferences and just look at the log and say “is my team in the top eight”.'

Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

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Craig Lewis