Super Rugby

Sanzaar delay format decision until March 2017

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Super Rugby’s administrator’s Sanzaar have delayed making a decision on the future shape of Super Rugby until next year.

Super Rugby’s confusing format will be retained for the 2017 season but there could be changes made to the format in 2018.

One idea that has been put forward is for South Africa and Australia to lose one team each which would reduce the tournament to a 16 team format which is believed to be more workable.

There appears to be little agreement on which two teams would be cut but the most speculation appears around the Cheetahs and the Western Force. If no one can agree on who will be cut then the status quo will be to leave the tournament as is for the rest of the broadcast deal which runs through to 2020.

Former Fiji Sevens coach Ben Ryan has said that there is big money available from sponsors for the backing of a Pacific Islands team but as yet Sanzaar have refused to comment about structural changes to their struggling tournament.

The organising body issued a statement over the weekend which essentially puts the decision on what the tournament will look like back for at least another four months.

The statement read, “The SANZAAR Executive Committee (ExCo) met in Europe on Thursday (November 17) for its last meeting of the year. The ExCo agenda included a review of 2016 season outcomes and the future structure and strategy of both Super Rugby and TRC.

SANZAAR CEO, Andy Marinos, said, “It was a productive meeting that identified key areas where further work is required. This important work will enable us to be in a position to table new concepts and proposals, in line with the roll out of the 2017-2027 strategic plan, at our March 2017 meeting.”

Earlier this year Sanzaar appointed consultancy firm Accenture to review the current tournament format and Sanzaar’s own structure and to make recommendations for Super Rugby’s structure over the next ten years.

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