TV money, politics created Super monster – Roux

Jurie Roux agrees with most fans that the Super 12 was a great tournament, but the SA Rugby chief has revealed that revenue offered by broadcasters fueled unsustainable expansion.

“The ultimate competition probably was Super 12 and to be honest we should have probably never moved from it, but there were different reasons,” Roux told Supersport.

“I’m sad to say that a lot of (the expansion) was due to driving revenue, and there were some political decisions that drove the process. It has ended up being a competition that if we don’t change it, we will have serious issues.”

Those “political decisions” likely relate to the government interference which led to the forced inclusion of a Super Rugby franchise in the Eastern Cape and, as a result, the expansion of Super Rugby to an 18-team competition in 2016.

What was patently obvious to most other stakeholders from the outset finally dawned on broadcasters this year and Sanzaar, the tournament’s governing body, last week took the difficult decision to reverse the expansion process in 2018, with three teams – two from SA and one from Australia – set to be axed.

“On the back of broadcasters telling us that they’re not happy with the product, and that they want immediate change – or else we will have some contractual issues going forward – we had no choice but to look at (changing) the competition earlier than what we wanted to,” said Roux.

“We are now at a time where the economic reality of this country, the rugby economic reality of this country, says we cannot sustain six franchises. Look at the results and you’ll know that we can’t.”

The identity of the two relegated SA sides is set to be announced by the end of June.

- All Out Rugby Staff Writer

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  • Anro van Zyl

    The Currie Cup must not be the barometer for entry to Super Rugby, numerous Super Rugby players don’t play CCup. By using CC it will “askew” the reality of best teams to play Super Rugby. No “joined” franchises i.e. Cats either – tried it already, failed.
    “Traditional” strong franchises to be kept: Stormers, Sharks, Bulls, Lions. Best players must play every week/ regularly, not sitting unused on benches. Bulls and Sharks are guilty of buying good players, then let them keep the bench warm or play less than 5 minutes at a time.
    Good players outside the franchises must be on loan to any franchise that wants to play them, and the rule must be that they actually PLAY regularly – i.e. minimum of a % of games with a minimum time ratio, not necessarily from the start. We need players to develop on-field in the game, not at practice.
    Suggestion: What about a play-off rule to Super Rugby?:
    If after the SR comp a SA Super Franchise is below a certain points total or win/loss percentage ratio, a play-off scenario kicks in. That team and “left-out” Franchises (i.e. Cheetahs and Kings) will be involved in play-offs.
    If the SA team at the bottom of SA teams’ log, is still above the ratio, no play-off scenario kicks in.
    The goal: Keep SR franchises competitive, if they are below a certain par we create a door for another team to play SR, that team must be better than the one that gets relegated, hence the tournament) – lots of discussions and scenario- evaluation and planning must go into this option, but I believe it is a good option and that we have the ability to create an excellent and reasonable play-off and re-entry rule/ agreement in SA Rugby.
    This will also hold administrators, coaches and players accountable, because there must be consequences for you and your franchise, if you loose your “green card” to Super Rugby.

  • Sean Slade Sean Slade


    Nowhere do you mention a round robin or Promotion Relegation.

    This is the essence of a good tournament NOT conferences.

    Promotion Relegation keeps the team sharp and something to play for.

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