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Moffett : Super Rugby is an absolute nightmare


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One of the chief architects of SANZAR and Super Rugby David Moffett has branded Super Rugby as “also ran” and an “absolute nightmare”.

In 1996 Moffett helped to create SANZAR which has now become SANZAAR (South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina Rugby) through expansion.

Moffett who lives in Canterbury, New Zealand says that SANZAAR’s expansion of Super Rugby has caused the tournament to suffer badly.

With every new TV deal that SANZAAR have signed they have increased the number of teams and most feel that this continual expansion has diluted the product.

Super Rugby began in 1996 with 12 teams but the latest expansion has seen millions of fans turning away from their once beloved Southern Hemisphere tournament.

Over the last five years rugby bodies in France and England have massively increased their money from TV rights and Moffatt says their success is “making Super Rugby and the Pro12 just also rans” as they are now able to pick off the world’s best talent.

Former NZRU Chief Executive Moffatt says that Super Rugby has suffered badly by expanding to include sides from Japan and Argentina.

“Nobody is watching it,” he told Wales Online.

“Nobody understands how it works. Nobody is interested. It’s an absolute nightmare.”

“They chased quantity over quality.”

“They need to go back to 12 teams, four each from New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.”

“If you look at what we started out with, it was fantastic in its time. ”

“It has just gone downhill since they chased quantity over quality,” said the former WRU and NRL Chief Executive.

While SANZAAR did see an increase in rights money with it’s most recent deal, it does not appear to have helped much as attendances and TV figures are well down and all of the Australian teams lost money last year, the Southern Kings are in liquidation and the several other teams are believed to be on the brink.

Earlier this week ARU Boss Bill Pulver revealed that the “long-term financial sustainability of Super Rugby” keeps him awake at night.

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  1. Mark Ward

    5th August 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Here in Canada none of the local cable channels carry the Super Rugby so we get to see NONE!! Definitely lost interest because of that.

  2. Mike Wilkinson

    6th August 2016 at 12:12 am

    Super rugby is great. The conference system is the problem. Each team needsto play each other in the round robin before the finals. And the top teams play off. Thats the problem.

  3. Gerry

    6th August 2016 at 2:20 am

    Agreed 100%. I have lost interest. It is too diluted. Go back to the 12.

  4. Denver the lion

    6th August 2016 at 6:22 am

    This guy has serious issues.. I feel a tad bit of jealousy creeping in.

  5. andy

    6th August 2016 at 7:33 pm

    SA and Australia could definitely be cut back to 4 teams each – arguably 3 for Australia – but cutting a NZ team means that you’re going to lose a championship winning side from the mix. That’s not so cool. All the NZ sides deserved their place in the comp during 2016.

  6. Trevor Fox

    7th August 2016 at 2:01 am

    What a disaster for a Super Final. Congratulations must go to the Hurricanes for winning – BUT what a totally un-entertaining match. Rugby is in DECLINE and something needs to be done urgently.There seems to be no flair or imagination left and most of the time it seems that the game is played by forwards rushing into each other in a futile attempt to gain a yard or two. Its increasingly looking like League – a game I do not like. Something needs to be done to make the game more entertaining and to get it back to the fast and free flowing rugby we all enjoy. Otherwise I fear the game will slowly die through lack of crowd support and lack of entertaining play.

  7. Mike

    8th August 2016 at 7:13 am

    The only thing to say is I’ve lost all interest because of corporate greed. Up to previous season folks from countries where SR was unavailable could access games via Super Rugby TV channel legally. But since this year somebody decided that our money are not good and blocked content to majority of the Globe leaving most fans from ‘non-rugby’ countries on the sidelines. Seriously I don’t care anymore. I was livid in February, now I don’t care.

    As for the format. XV was max. So many bad teams that’s not even worth the effort to watch. It started to disintegrate the moment SA demanded to add more (hopeless) teams. Instead taking a stand a say NO, SANZAR allowed it. Beginning of the end.

  8. Garfunkel

    9th August 2016 at 12:08 am

    I don’t know why you give this serial anti-rugby whinger the time of day. He had his day in the Sun as the Rugby Union Boss and what did he do? He stuffed it up completely. Stick with League and the Warriors. You deserve each other mate!!

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