CAPE TOWN – Radical changes proposed for a new-look Super Rugby tournament could reportedly include the prospect of marquee players turning out for franchises from rival nations.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the tournament’s broadcasters have compiled a ‘wish list’ of changes for Sanzaar to consider, which could come into effect from the 2021 season.
It’s already been confirmed that under that new broadcast arrangement, Super Rugby will revert back to a 14-team, one conference system, with Japan’s Sunwolves falling out of action after next year.
The marquee-player proposal is aimed at allowing players to effectively change national allegiances without any impact on their Test eligibility.
For example, you could have an All Blacks player turning out for a South African side, or vice versa, or a Springbok featuring for an Aussie outfit.
This is one portion of the proposal that seems unlikely to receive approval, but there is also a push for a predetermined neutral venue to host the final.
This is something that is enforced in the NFL and Champions League.
A third change could see Super Rugby teams featuring their home city or region in their names, as was the case when the Stormers, for example, were known as the Western Stormers.
Finally, another proposal centres around seeing the Rugby Championship turned into a tour-based itinerary that would see the national sides play midweek games against unions and provinces from the host nation, much as the British & Irish Lions do when on tour.
African News Agency (ANA)