Super sixteen in twenty eighteen

By , 11.07.17

The primary objective of any change to Super Rugby must be to introduce a model which maximises the competition’s integrity, simplicity and fairness, and doing so with sixteen teams is eminently achievable.

This ensures that the competition:

- Becomes easier to understand

- Makes every game matter

- Rewards the best teams with finals qualification

- Leverages internationalism as competitive advantage

- Puts fans first; breeding tribalism and belonging

How can the competition do this?

- Remove conference structures entirely

- Ensure that all teams play every team in the competition

- Have one competition ladder with the top teams making finals

- Promote geography and touring as a part of the game and a point of difference to other codes

- Advance competition presentation for the digital age

How does the competition work?

With the confirmation of the exit from Super Rugby of the Cheetahs and Kings, a 16-team competition remains possible. Those teams are:

  • Australia: Brumbies, Force, Rebels, Reds, Waratahs
  • New Zealand: Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes
  • South Africa: Bulls, Lione, Sharks, Stormers
  • Expansion: Jaguares, Sunwolves

- Full round-robin structure with each team playing every team once, and one additional “Rivalry Round” fixture as the 16th game for each team

- This delivers each team 8 home and 8 away matches for the season and ensures that there are up to 8 matches in every round, with each teams receiving 2 byes during the season

- The season still fits within the 21 week limitation required by all nations given a mid-February start and the June break

- This totals 128 matches in total and 40 games in Australia

What about the Finals Series?

- With no conferences there is one ladder and the best 8 teams qualify into the three week structure of Quarter Final > Semi Final > Final, with Quarter Finals being 1v8, 2v7, 3v6, 4v5

- If a fourth week was possible, it would be beneficial to change the first week of finals to 1v4, 2v3 and 5v8, 6v7 with the top half getting a second chance and the bottom half playing for elimination immediately. This would mirror the AFL and NRL models, and has the benefit of adding an extra 2 finals matches which attract premium broadcast values

Match Calculations

Total Matches:

- Current 18 Team Competition: 135

- Proposed 15 Team Competition: 120

- RUPA Endorsed 16 Team Competition: 128

Games in Australian:

- Current 18 Team Competition: 37 or 38

- Proposed 15 Team Competition: 32

- RUPA Endorsed 16 Team Competition: 40

Aus vs. Aus Matches:

- Current 18 Team Competition: 30

- Proposed 15 Team Competition: 12

- RUPA Endorsed 16 Team Competition: 20 < 22

Home Games Per Team:

- Current 18 Team Competition: 7 or 8

- Proposed 15 Team Competition: 8

- RUPA Endorsed 16 Team Competition: 8

Opposition Teams Played:

- Current 18 Team Competition: 75%

- Proposed 15 Team Competition: 82%

- RUPA Endorsed 16 Team Competition: 100% 010156 rupa sponsors website footer.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1