South African Rugby World Cup winner Joel Stransky has said that South Africa should have two less Super Rugby teams if they want to be competitive.
Stransky’s comments come just days after former Wallabies, Reds and Brumbies coach Eddie Jones called for Australia to lose two Super Rugby teams.
Jones is the current England head coach but says that Australia does not have the depth for five teams and that this has impacted on the national team.
Jones says that the Western Force and the Rebels should cut from Super Rugby in order to strengthen the remaining Reds, Waratahs and Brumbies.
“The reason Australia wanted to have more than the three Super Rugby teams was to create extra depth, so the immediate question that needs to be answered is, has having those two extra teams strengthened the Wallabies?” Jones told Stuff
“If they have, then keep them. If they haven’t, then they’ve got to look at whether they should persevere with them or not.
“I’ve always said Australia is best to have the three teams and the best players playing with each other.
“That creates hot competition to get into Super Rugby and adds extra to everything that happens in Australian rugby.
“The Force and the Rebels have done some good things, but I don’t think it’s added considerably to Australian rugby at the moment. They’ve got to really question whether they continue with them.”
South African Rugby struggled in 2016 and hit a new low when the Springboks were beaten by Italy on their end of year tour which has led to Stransky calling for country to cut two teams.
Stransky says that by having six Super Rugby teams the talent pool has made the country less competitive and that as a result winning does not come first.
“We need to understand that we can’t compete with six Super Rugby franchises,” he told New Zealand Radio Sport.
“We’d probably be at our best with four… if we want to be strong in the future, we need strong domestic rugby.
“With all due respect to Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth, there’s not the crowd support and financial support to sustain the teams.
“We’ve got to make the right decisions for the Springboks, not the individual (administrators) running the game.”
Sanzaar appointed Accenture to review the structure of Super Rugby and their own organisation and one of the proposals that was put forward was for the tournament to be reduced to 16 teams. A decision on the way forward was expected in December but the organising body said that they would meet again in March to discuss the way forward.