‘SA has no right to sixth team’

Former All Blacks captain TAINE RANDELL, writing on stuff.co.nz, says South Africa should not get a sixth Super Rugby franchise in 2016.

After an executive committee meeting in Sydney last Thursday, where the future of Super Rugby was on the agenda, Sanzar confirmed that a sixth SA side and one from Argentina would be added to the tournament when it expanded again.

'The early signals for the next phase of Super Rugby expansion defy logic,' wrote Randell. 'We wait with interest for more details from the governing body Sanzar as to the tournament structure but there is nothing to justify a sixth South African team and the addition of an Argentinian side makes for a logistical nightmare in a tournament where travel has always been seen as a major handicap.

'First of all, the South Africans. Having taken the wooden spoon in 13 of the 18 years Super Rugby has existed, South Africa has no right to another team. Already their talent depth has proved to be too shallow with five teams. Adding another will only stretch that further. And let's not forget that the Springboks continue to rely heavily on selecting players who ply their trade offshore, collecting big-money contracts in Britain, France and Japan.

'We will expect the Southern Kings to return to the mix in 2016. They finished last in their one-off season last year only to be replaced by the Lions who have had a long history of struggles. Nothing will change there.'

Randell does like the idea of involving Argentina in Super Rugby, but says they should have two franchises in an 18-team competition.

'It would make a lot more sense for teams to travel to Argentina for a couple of fixtures rather than just a one-off match which will carry huge expense,' he said.

Full column on stuff.co.nz

Photo: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

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