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Super 18? 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:41 pm
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Post Super 18?
Not sure where to put this article from today's Thunderer. Subject already being discussed on SH forum.

Vague speculation hints at involving NH franchise(s?).

Good idea or not? Don't like the look of it personally.

Expansion of Super 15 may take in brave new world

Owen Slot Chief Rugby Correspondent
Published at 12:01AM, May 2 2014

The expansion of the Super 15 rugby competition, which was announced yesterday, is an ambitious move in the game as it will take the competition beyond Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and into at least one and probably two new continents.

The Super 15 will become Super 18 in two years’ time, but the change goes beyond tinkering with and growing the present product. Of the three new franchises, one will be a sixth South African franchise and one will be a new franchise in Buenos Aires. Particularly intriguing is the 18th, which is being put up for tender with Asia the most likely destination.

Interest in hosting an Asian franchise has already been registered from Singapore and Hong Kong. However, Japan, where there is already a well-financed professional league, would appear the most likely as it would bring a larger television market.

However, Super Rugby is not limiting itself. The 18th franchise could yet come from within Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, but Australia cannot support it, New Zealand does not want it, and though a tender from within South Africa is not unlikely, the appeal of extending the competition beyond its present boundaries is likely to win the day.

Conversations have taken place with USA Rugby about the possibility of hosting a franchise in North America. While Europe has only just sorted out its own future international club competition, there is backing in South Africa for a franchise to be established in a leading southern European city such as Barcelona.

The European option is most popular with South Africa, for obvious logistical reasons, although it is hard to envisage a rival rugby competition establishing an outpost in a territory where there is already strong competition.

Super Rugby has three main criteria that it is looking to satisfy in establishing the 18th franchise. Logistics are one, the possibility of home-based players playing is another; the third, of course, is how the 18th franchise could contribute commercially to the product. The third criterion makes it extremely unlikely that the Pacific Islands will be considered a strong candidate to be a franchise host.

The changes will introduce a new and international appeal to the tri-nation tournament and its expansionism gives it the air of a product spreading its fingers around the world. However, the reality is that the team from Buenos Aires will be hugely disadvantaged because of the amount of time spent travelling. The same is likely to be the case for the 18th franchise.

The increased development of the game continues to introduce the question of when the winning teams from European rugby will meet with the Super Rugby champions in a global club rugby championship. Greg Peters, the chief executive of Sanzar, the body that operates Super Rugby, said yesterday: “The challenge is fitting it into a very congested season.”

Fri May 02, 2014 3:19 pm
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World XV Player
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Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:24 pm
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Location: Llanharan
Post Re: Super 18?
brave new world

ambitious move

larger television market

franchise in North America

new and international appeal


Sat May 03, 2014 7:02 am
World XV Player
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Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:24 pm
Posts: 45106
Location: Llanharan
Post Re: Super 18?
x_ile wrote:

cannot support it
does not want it

strong competition.
extremely unlikely
Pacific Islands
hugely disadvantaged
very congested season

Not so good.

Sat May 03, 2014 7:08 am
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