Friday, May 2nd, 2008...2:27 pm

Super Rugby – Best idea yet. Thanks Wynne Gray!

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Source NZHerald : Wynne Gray: Forget the world, let’s make it more interesting at home


Let’s consider a few alternatives and start with the World Cup, which is not going to disappear. That event is scheduled quadrennially for September and October.

So in the other three years of the cycle let’s make that the time for both inbound and outbound tours or tests. Forget the sort of unbecoming drive-by internationals we are getting from Ireland and England in June.

The Super series should begin in April and run for about 20 weeks of round robin and finals competition. New Zealand rugby would be better served if the competition had the same number of teams but no South African content.

Time zones and an absence of provincial tribalism are sporting enemies in the Super series. Transtasman combat is an answer; eight NZ sides and six from Oz playing in front of capacity crowds at smaller stadiums would also be more financially sustainable, logical, interesting and easier to follow.

Players would have the progressive build-up of club and country, while an amateur club and amateur NPC competitions could run underneath the professional series.

A gap between the round robin and finals could be put aside for the Bledisloe Cup, while tests against the Springboks would become far more appealing if they went into the September-October international window. The distinctive honour of tests would return if players were involved in six or eight a year rather than double that as they are now.

The All Blacks could then take leave before Christmas. All professionals could have January and February to condition and March to prepare with their team before an April start.

More on this subject : Super rugby – It’s in safe hands (not) !