Australian Rugby Union Considering Switching To Two-Conference Model
The Australian Rugby Union is "open to an overhaul of Super Rugby that would see more trans-Tasman derbies and up to two Argentinian teams included in the competition," according to Georgina Robinson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Super Rugby's governing body, SANZAR, is "under pressure to include a sixth South African team in the competition from 2016 and believes the best way of doing so is to cut the current three-conference system down to two conferences that would not play each other until a finals series." One conference would "include the current Australian and New Zealand teams and the other would include six South African teams and up to two sides from Argentina." While Australia "might have preferred to stay with the current three conference model during previous discussions, the prospect of less travel and more marketable derby-style matches between New Zealand and Australian sides has the ARU looking closely at the proposal." It is becoming "less and less likely that Super Rugby in its current format will exist beyond the next Rugby World Cup." Its new shape is "expected to be decided on by the SANZAR nations and Argentina by the end of this year" (SMH, 8/8).