A new points system is expected to be launched when the Super 14 expands to a Super 15 Rugby tournament in February next year.
After five years of the Super 14 the Melbourne Rebels have been included to make a 15 team format with three geographically based pools known as conferences (five teams in each country).
SANZAR (South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby) the body that runs tournaments in the three countries have been looking at ways to award teams the teams points.
Under the old Super Rugby format a team would win four points for winning a match and a bonus point point for scoring four tries or finishing within 7 points of the winner. Two points would be awarded to both teams if there was a draw.
A new points system has not yet been officially approved but it is believed that under the new points system teams will be awarded four points whenever they have a bye.
The expanded Super 15 Rugby format sees the teams playing more matches but they also get two byes instead of one as in the old format so a team would be gauranteed eight points a season.
The concept of awarding points for teams that are not playing has been a feature of the NRL and it is believed that all three SANZAR partners have agreed to it for the new format.
SANZAR are also considering other ways of changing the bonus point system and have looked at the Top14 in France where the try bonus point is awarded to the winning team and only if they score three more tries than their opponent.
The big difference is that teams in the old system who score four tries and lose could win two bonus points but in the Top14 system they would only secure one point if they finish within seven points of the winner.
This system makes bonus points more valuable as it is rare that both teams pick up bonus points although it can and has happened.
An announcement on the new points structure is expected in the near future.