In which I argue Super Rugby bosses looking for a proven competition model could do worse than follow the successful European Champions Cup.
On the whole, Southern Hemisphere rugby has prospered very nicely, thank you very much, with a simple policy of seeing how the game is played in the north, ignoring it completely and developing something superior in every way.
Back in the day when tours were real tours, sides from the northern half of the world would find that South African teams were always more powerful; Australia’s more pugnacious; and New Zealand’s just better. At everything. That was the way of the rugby world.
And then came Super Rugby, the club competition to rule them all. Fans from oop north, unused to this diamond-cut version of the game, would tune in and watch in awe at the sheer quality of the devil-may-care rugby unfolding in front of their very eyes.
Today, however, Super Rugby has become a victim of its own success and ambition. It has grown fat and unwieldy, jaded and over-complicated.