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 Â£5.8m [/color] 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?