‘Super Rugby needs restructuring’

Former Sharks stalwart Stefan Terblanche believes a return to a shorter, sharper Vodacom Super Rugby competition is much needed to rediscover the appeal it once held, writes CRAIG LEWIS.

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In an exclusive wide-ranging Zoom chat with SARugbymag.co.za, Terblanche reflected on the lasting memories of the Boks’ success, the impact of Covid-19, Frans Steyn’s return to South Africa and also how he thought Super Rugby could change for the better.

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Speaking from vast experience, considering Terblanche played in over 100 Super Rugby games for the Sharks, the former utility back admitted his own interest in the current competition format had dwindled significantly.

‘It was one of the most enjoyable tournaments to watch, and certainly to play in. The speed of the game, skill of the players, the intensity, contact situations, the defence – it was a real spectacle.

‘For me it is simple: less teams and more quality games. No disrespect to the teams playing in the competition at the moment, but I no longer was tuning in every weekend to watch certain teams play; it just didn’t appeal to me and I didn’t like the style of rugby.

‘Less is more for me, go back down to 12 teams, every game should count. When Super Rugby started, I kid you not, I couldn’t wait for the weekend – I’d watch all the games even when I was still playing. I could name all the teams, even if I wasn’t supporting them, and could list all the players.

‘There was just so much talent on show, and the enjoyment we got watching and playing in it was immense. I want the players to be able to experience that, and I’m sure they do to an extent, but I’m sure many would also agree that we need to have a look at the structure of the game and Super Rugby.

‘Maybe start in February and finish in May, and make every game one of significance.’

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