Saturday, May 16th, 2009...9:29 am

Super 15 (22 weeks) – No ABs in the in finals.

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Source: Frustrated players save Sanzar  – Gregor Paul

..”An extended Super 15 will further decrease the importance of the provincial championship as the overlap will be greater. If Super 15 runs until early August, followed almost immediately by the Tri Nations, All Black involvement is going to be zero.”..

COMMENTS: Well wont that be fun, the first 12 to 16 weeks of the Super 15 will include top international players from SANZAR but come the business end of the Super 15 they will be pulled out for preparations for the Tri Nations. And no doubt during the Super 15 any June tests will see there participation reduced further. Super 15 will be battle of the wannabies. Wont the sponsors love that !

This means that the 5 unions (Ak, Chch, Otgao, Ham, Well) in NZ will remain the top power brokers, the rest are to remain a non professional tear ! The Austrialisian cup idea would have had 8 teams from NZ, financial viable who knows, but better exposure for more, power better distributed, and better chance of keeping more players.

UPDATE: Source: Framework for 2011 Super series starting to take shape – Wynne Gray

…”Expect a late February start to the expanded Super rugby series when it kicks off in 2011, a June lull and an August completion”…”It is understood the partners have agreed to a conference system in each country before the top six sides split off into a finals series. That extended schedule will mean Super rugby being played at the same time as the national championship, unless that series is also refined.”…

COMMENTS : NPC and Currie Cup RIP ! National competitions are now the sole involvement of the non professional tear. The Super rugby structure is much like the AFL (gridion) in the USA (which is very successful). I guess we all have to wait for the official super 15 announcement to get the full picture.

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