In the words of the Katie Perry “Super Rugby changes structures, like a girl changes clothes” and very few fans would disagree that the current system is in a shambles.
There is no doubt that the most recent venture into expansion and the inclusion of the Argentinian Jaguares and the Japanese Sunwolves, was intended to broaden the marketing base, hopefully providing a gravy train for the host nations. Yet,the most recent evolution of the competition to a two conference, four group structure, in which many teams will face off only once every second year has proven confusing at best, and disastrous at worst.
There is a lot to loath from the Australian Super Rugby conference in 2016, but there is also something to love. Depth.
It may not be immediately evident but once digging through all the hysteria of the post-Rugby World Cup exodus and the performance of the Aussie conference, there are some positive signs to draw hope. Continue reading →
How many fresh faces will we see wearing Wallabies gold in June 2016?
Over the last five non Rugby World Cup (RWC) or Lions Series years, roughly five players have made their Wallabies debuts each June Test series. After seven rounds of Super Rugby, the collective health of Australia’s rugby stars has remained relatively intact. Yet, with the likes of Wallabies incumbent Kane Douglas’ unlikely to recover from a knee reconstruction in time and a number of Super Rugby rounds to come, there will be the opportunity for new blood.
Now, this is something that I have always pondered. How would the Pacific Nation sides shape up if they had a local competition to hold local talent and potentially draw back players who have strayed around the world.
A little while back we looked at the hypothetical Fijian side, which was overflowing with barnstorming backs who were accompanied by some great forward talent.
There was a 9-6 split of Fijians and ‘foreigners’ in the starting XV, with a further 4-4 split on the bench.
This weeks Samoan side is heavily laden with Samoan talent who have pledged allegiance to other nations. Similarly to the Fijian side, a lot of top tier nations sport Samoan talent among their ranks, however the Wallabies and All Blacks dominate this squad with 5 and 4 respectively.
The penultimate week of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) is upon us and if there is one inarguable truth that can be taken out of the 2015 tournament and that is the closing of the gap. The gap between the tier 1 nations (10 teams) and the chasing tier 2 nations (13 teams).
Since round one, Japan’s performances have been the story of the RWC, Fiji have overcome some poor form in recent years, Georgia have improved by leaps and bounds and the days of 100+ point wins are evidently over.
The Perth Spirit have launched themselves into a playoff position (top 4) in their final regular season match, handing the Greater Sydney Rams a convincing 63 to 39 point shellacking.
Fans were thrilled with a try every 320 seconds (5.33 mins) of play, with a total of 15 five pointers being scored throughout the 80 minute encounter, the most of any National Rugby Championship (NRC) match in 2015 with only one round remaining.