SANZAR ready to consider expansion- 8 Aug 2012 00:00:00
SANZAR CEO Greg Peters has revealed his organisation would be open to potential talk of expansion of the Super Rugby tournament.
The current conference-based format cannot be changed under the terms of the latest broadcasting deal which runs until 2015 but according to ESPNscrum, Peters told the website that the Southern Hemisphere's governing body would be open to altering the shape of the tournament in the future.
Peters told the website: ‘We will certainly start to consider it. It is another thing that the conference format allows us to do and, we can add teams and add conferences.’
‘When we look at 2016 onwards, we have no closed views on what the future may look like and our current format allows us to expand should we wish to and should it be in the best interests of the three SANZAR countries to do so because that is why we do this.’
The current conference system has received some recent criticism, especially with Australia getting an advantage despite their top team finishing behind some of South Africa and New Zealand's second and third placed teams on log points.
The Reds - who won the Australian conference this year - received a home playoff clash despite having the least number of log points of all the top six teams.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) is also keen to see an expansion to the tournament with the pressure growing to accommodate its existing five sides and the Southern Kings.
However, SANZAR may even look further afield if it makes commercial sense with Rugby Championship newcomers Argentina, Japan, the USA and the Pacific Islands all mentioned as possible new territories in terms of teams and conferences.