DUNCAN JOHNSTONE, writing on stuff.co.nz, says the new Super Rugby format is going to be confusing and a hard sell to the fans.
The 18-team, four conference format was officially unveiled by Sanzar on Friday after it had been leaked earlier in the week.
'Sanzar, chasing the almighty dollar, is hell-bent on expansion,' wrote Johnstone. 'They theorise that more is better despite signs in all three countries the public's appetite is waning.'
Johnstone says the positives of the new format are the reduction of local derbies and the fact that teams will play 15 regular-season games instead of 16. But he has one big concern.
'The new proposal still won't satisfy everyone because it will be impossible for every team to play each other, which will again bring into question the evenness of the championship … New markets may flourish but the traditional bases will look at this new system and wonder which teams have got the easier ride. After all, the first basis of any championship needs to be an even competition.'
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