Sanzaar CEO Andy Marinos says Super Rugby ‘will deliver a more competitive and compelling tournament’ in 2018.
With the Cheetahs, Kings and Force having been axed from Super Rugby, the tournament will again have just three conferences, with Argentina’s Jaguares in the South African conference and Japan’s Sunwolves in the Australian conference.
Every team will play home and away matches against the other teams in their conference, and take on four of the five teams from the other two conferences.
The top eight teams on the overall log (the three conference winners and the next five teams with the most log points) will progress to the quarter-finals.
‘Our vision is to run and manage the strongest, most competitive and engaging international and club competitions in the world,’ said Marinos in a press release.
‘With the hard decisions to re-structure Super Rugby behind us, we can now look forward to a stronger tournament that promises to deliver the best versus the best and one that continues to provide a high-quality player pathway into the international arena.
‘Historically, the success of Sanzaar teams in the international arena can largely be attributed to the quality, strength and intensity of Super Rugby.
‘We believe 2018 will deliver a more competitive and compelling tournament with more unpredictable outcomes, and with an expansive and entertaining brand of rugby that tests players and re-engages our many fans across the globe.’