More changes planned for Super Rugby


The current Super Rugby format will not be altered next season but more changes could be introduced for 2018.

Governing body SANZAAR has reportedly turned to a consultancy firm to put together a 10-year strategic vision for the competition, with talk of a reduction in teams and altering the current conference format.

Sunwolves and Jaguares are making their Super Rugby debuts this season and SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos also confirmed that more new franchises could follow down the line.

Marinos told Stuff: "You've got to be open-minded when you go into a process,

"Is it a continual expansion? Is it an expansion in two conferences? Is it a reduction and creating a two-tier system? There's a whole lot of different permutations one has to consider as you go through a process like this if you want to get the best result.

"Certain countries may reduce and some may retain or expand.

"If you want to be fair to the fans and people who are supporting us you have to look at all options. You can't just look at only one option about expanding further."

He added: "We've signed broadcast agreements for that. But we're saying if, during the next five years, we believe there is an alternative model we will certainly have a very good look at that. But for the 2016/2017 season I wouldn't envision there being any changes to the model we've got.

"But we are wanting to get a better structure going forward."

He added: "To try put a new team up in 2017 you're not giving them enough time to prepare. You need at least 12 to 18 months to identify the opportunity and then make sure the high performance and commercial models can underpin it.

"We've seen the consequence of not having all that up and ready at the start of this year with all the disruption and change, particularly in Japan and with the Kings.

"2018 for me is more achievable should we look to expand."