Silence on Super Rugby’s proposed changes is frustrating

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Silence on Super Rugby’s proposed changes is frustrating

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew admitted that the silence on Super Rugby’s proposed changes is frustrating but said implementing those decisions took time.



After holding a meeting in London two weeks ago, SANZAAR announced that the tournament is set to be revamped but nothing has been said on the issue since then.

There has been speculation recently that the tournament will axe some teams after the tournament’s 18-team conference format, which was first used in 2016, received heavy criticism.

Under the conference format, teams with worse records than others are rewarded with home fixtures in the play-offs.

Australian and South African media reports have indicated that the imminent changes could see up to three teams from those two countries being axed from the tournament.

But SANZAAR are yet to provide further information on their proposed revamping of the competition which also have teams from New Zealand, Argentina and Japan competing in it.

“I accept that, I think it was called the ‘golden silence’ in one media report, is frustrating but (until) we have confirmation I can’t say any more,” Tew told Reuters.

“There have been some tough decisions taken. But they require consultation and sign-off from a large number of parties and that work is underway and largely out of our hands.”

According to media reports, teams under threat are South Africa’s Kings and Cheetahs franchises as well as the Rebels, Brumbies and Western Force from Australia.

Tew would not reveal how many teams would compete in the new tournament but said he is pleased with the changes in the format.

“We are very comfortable that the decisions made in principle in London will be good for the competition and good for New Zealand rugby,” he added.

“We would all have empathy for anyone who is subject to a change process but sometimes it’s necessary to make tough decisions and you have to work through it.”