SA could lose Super Rugby team

Australia and South Africa could each lose a Super Rugby team under a new 16-team model presented to the Australian Rugby Union board last week.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that another proposed model would see South Africa lose two teams, while yet another model involves expanding the tournament.

The current 18-team, four-conference, two-group Super Rugby format has been heavily criticised. This year, South African teams in the Africa 1 conference played the Australian and not the New Zealand sides during the conference stage with the situation reversed in Africa 2. The Highlanders, Chiefs and Crusaders also had to play their quarter-finals away from home while a team like the Brumbies, who had fewer log points than them, hosted a quarter-final as the Australian conference winners.

The criticism forced Sanzaar to launch a review into the tournament structure and the future of the competition, which is being conducted by consultants Accenture.

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Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images

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Simon Borchardt