In a new series from the SA Rugby magazine team, editor CRAIG LEWIS wishes for a return to an improved Super 10 competition if the game should be restructured.
Every day seems to bring something new in terms of developments in the game as rugby’s governing bodies explore ways to tackle the coronavirus crisis.
As the scramble continues to plot the way forward and formulate some form of restructured competition once action is able to resume, many have also said this is a time to really think about a game that was facing serious problems even before the enforced break.
It’s hard to argue with that assertion.
I’m sure like many, I’m desperately missing live rugby, but that’s based primarily on an absence of any kind of action as opposed to particularly longing for the resumption of the bloated Vodacom Super Rugby competition.
At this point, I’d take any form of live sport, but I wouldn’t lose any sleep if that means SA Rugby goes ahead with a full-strength domestic competition and the 2020 Super Rugby season is called off.
To my mind, people have been losing interest in an expanded ‘Super’ competition for some time, and it’s got me thinking about what would get me really excited about that Sanzaar event again.
Many have said SA rugby should call it quits and leave their southern-hemisphere counterparts and head north. It’s understandable, and in times of financial chaos, that may make the most sense when it comes to boosting the coffers.
Yet, I’d rather see one of the current local Super Rugby franchises head north [perhaps to join the PRO14 or Premiership], and leave three in Super Rugby.
If I could picture a perfect world scenario – and ignore any realities that it may not be possible due to various red tape – my wish would be to see three South African and four New Zealand teams in Super Rugby action (the Kiwis would need to cut one side or combine the resources of two).
Mercilessly, I’d want to see Australia Rugby – currently in absolute dire straits – cut their competitors from four to just two.
Leave the Jaguares where they are and that gives you 10 teams.
Return to a straight round-robin competition that heads into a semi-final and title decider, and you’ve have a short, sharp and highly competitive tournament that would be finished within 12 weeks (if you throw in a mid-season bye for all teams).
For me, that would be a concise and compelling competition, which doesn’t put too much strain on the bodies of our international stars.
That’s my lockdown wish.