Super Rugby Franchises

Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by Gavin, Jul 6, 2008.


Super Rugby

  1. Yes, it is best for rugby and its nations.

    0 vote(s)
  2. No, it will become too much like soccer.

    0 vote(s)
  3. Things need to change, but not like this.

    0 vote(s)
  4. Don't care, I'm happy with rugby at the moment.

    0 vote(s)
  1. Gavin

    Gavin Guest

    Just got my August 2008 edition of Rugby World today in the post and straight away a global picture of the world got my attention. To be honest, I thought it was a pull out poster of the rugby world, little did I know it had much more significance - still a bit disappointed it wasn't a poster. The article described the proposed attempt by SANZAR to cut back on the amount of top-class players in their prime moving north and not being able to play for their nations or origin. It stated that professional rugby is at a fork in the road and there are two ways it can go:

    Option 1 - The rich can continue to get richer while the poor get poorer.

    If they go this road they say that the economic might of the English and French clubs sweeps all before it and Mark Evans is proved right. Mark Evans, the Harlequins chief executive, said "In ten years' time, twenty at most, all the best players in the world will be playing in Europe"

    The second option is were the Tri-Nations fight back against the loss of their top players.

    Option 2 - Construct a new world order in which they have the resourses to reverse the one-way flow of talent forever.

    This route causes the reinvention of both the Super14 and Tri-Nations called "Super Rugby". The new competition will expand to include the sides from each of the southern hemisphere giants and franchises outside Europe which has sufficient finance - expected around £5.8m


    Likely franchises drafter into the competition will be Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York, Buenos Aires, Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and Melbourne.

    Possible franchises include Toronto, Miami, Rosario, Port Elizabeth, Nagasaki, Adelaide and North Harbour.

    Existing franchises will include Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Sydney, Canterbury, Wellington, Auckland, Waikato and Otago

    Central to the plan is an influx of private capital to either part of fully underwrite the franchises. Having watched the success of the French and English clubs, SANZAR are convinced that the only way to beat the European clubs is to join them. They are trying to set up a conference system. Rob Nichol, head of the New Zealand Rugby Players' Association, says that there is too much travelling in the Super14 and reducing the travel burden is a priority if the top players are to be retained - they say a Super14 player is away from his country for an average of 180 days each year. Conferences based on geography are the easiest way to cut down on travel. Nichol says that the players are exited by the ideas being put forward. One option for the competition is for four conferences to be set up and they would play home and away matches based around Australasia, Asia, Africa and the Americas. The top two teams from each conference would then go on to play in an eight-team play-off.

    This option would allow top-class rugby players to join these franchises, and still play for their home country.

    I personally really like Option Two. It sends world-class rugby to lower nations, spreading the game worldwide. If the competition can be funded, I say go for it. It also means that top-class players can clash against others for their countries, instead of playing for a foreign club and watching the game on the television.

    Any thoughts?
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  3. Steve-o

    Steve-o Guest

    180 days? That's roughly 25 weeks, are you sure that's right?
  4. Gavin

    Gavin Guest

    Yeah just checked it there now, "A Super14 player is away from his country for an average of 180 days each year.
  5. Steve-o

    Steve-o Guest

    I think the SA guys push that average up considerably, they spend more time flying than anybody else.

    Option 2 would work very well in theory but all those nations are in VERY different positions in rugby terms. Argentina is major player in it but we all know it's gonna take about 8 years to a decade to sort themselves out. The P.I. nations won't be able to support a team, never mind a competitive Super Rugby team.

    I'm stumped to be honest. So far BLR's plan he drew up a couple months ago made the most sense to me. 2 divisions is the way to go imo.
  6. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    Oh dear god, so much speculation! Now I'm not trying to put a downer on here but who are SANZAR or the members of individually speaking to to propell this talk of massive expansion? I want names, I want organisations and I want businessmen with pockets deep enough to endure a year of morbid curiosity from the locals followed by fifteen years of being stuck in the wilderness whose only fans are local rugby nuts and ex-pats?

    I'm looking at the list of 'likely' cities and only Buenos Aires and Tokyo jump out at me as the most obvious. The rest are just shots in the dark and I think Nigel Melville & Kevin Roberts (remember him?) at USA Rugby would have something to say about SANZAR suddenly charging into the United States of America. Something along the lines of "we'd like a BIG cut of the pie, please!"

    If you really want to compete with Europe, some of the nations are going to have to bite the bullet and consider privatisation. Franchises are all well and good but privately owned clubs are even better.

    None of this has been thought through and I get the nasty feeling that the chaps at Rugby World have just had one of our "if we were SANZAR, what would we do" kind of brainstorming meetings because they were short of an article...or three.

    Like I said, I don't want to sound cynical but this sounds waaay too good to be true.
  7. fcukernaut

    fcukernaut Guest

    This is fantastic but I have several problems with it. With such geographically diverse regions the divisions or conferences are going to be seriously screwed up.

    Asian Division
    Hong Kong

    New Zealand Division
    North Harbour

    Australian Division

    African Division
    Cape Town
    Port Elizabeth

    American Division
    Los Angeles
    New York
    Buenos Aires

    Those to me seem the most logical division make ups, but the teams in the America's are going to be doing a ton of flying. Geographically speaking they are all a minimum 4-5 hours apart except for one team that is close by. Then I'd have to argue that the choice of Miami is a shocking choice. It's off on it's own and has absolutlely no history of rugby. That and they don't have any disposable income. They have an NFL team, an MLB team, and an NBA team. They also don't have a stadium to play in. The team will fail dramatically if they play in the 70,000 seater because 5000 will show up. A better choice to me would be boston. Not only is there already a built in rivalry but there is a history of ex-pats there. There are stadium issues in Boston though as you need a 20-25K stadium and the closest thing to that size is a 44,000 seater at Boston College. Chicago is also an option. Large popluation, ready built stadium and has hosted the Churchill cup. Toronto has a 25K stadium if you don't mind playing on Fieldturf. I can't think of a natural grass stadium of more than 5000 in the GTA. New York is getting a new field specifically for the MLS team which will be about 25K, but again I'm not sure it will be natural grass. The LA Galaxy have a 30K stadium with natural grass, I believe it's the Home Depot Center. Vancouver only has BC Place, which is a 50K domed stadium that of course has fieldturf. Seattle may be a better alternative given they are only hop skip and jump away and have a newly built stadium for their new MLS team. Then you have the two Argentinian teams all by their lonesome that will travel an absurd amount of miles to get to anywhere.

    Shanghai is a really interesting one though isn't it. We know there are ex-pats in Hong Kong but is there even a little bit of history of rugby in Shanghai? And I suppose Nagasaki and Tokyo already have professional franchises, so rich owners and stadiums are in place. What happens to the rest of the Japanese league though? Surely they want to take part too, no?

    Dubai is also an intriguing prospect. Lots of money, but it is very much out of the way. They will be doing a more travelling than any other team to get down to South Africa and stay there for a while.

    This looks mostly like an epic failure to me, but you have to try something and if you can get obcenely rich owners who don't care about losing money then it will be about as good as you get.
  8. BLR

    BLR Guest

    I think the American division won't work, too many teams and not enough depth in players, a joint North American/Asian Division plus South American/South African division is much more likely.
  9. Fushitsusha

    Fushitsusha Guest

    Personally, I think we need to start off selfish.

    Add a couple more teams, privatise, start allowing overseas players - especially those from Argentina and the PI's.

    Build from there.
  10. fcukernaut

    fcukernaut Guest

    They would be made up of almost completely foreign born players of course. And an Asian/American division wouldn't work because of the flight length between Japan and LA is just too long without that extended tour of games.
  11. fcukernaut

    fcukernaut Guest

    How is there not more interest in this?
  12. Steve-o

    Steve-o Guest

    Are you talking about public response or on the forum? If the forum, it's because it's been debated quiet alot this season. I remember everybody and their dog had a thread going about possible Super Rugby expansions not too long ago. Nothing wrong with that though! There some very constructive debates that brought out some good ideas.
    I'm sure you'll dig a few out in SH sub forum.
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