One Australian Super Rugby side to be cut, Cheetahs boss says

The Roar Roar Guru

By The Roar,

 , ,

203 Have your say

Popular article! 5,194 reads

    Australia will lose one of its five Super Rugby teams ahead of next year’s competition, according to Cheetahs boss Harold Verster.

    Verster was quoted as saying the competition would be reduced from 18 teams to 16, with one franchise to be cut from both South Africa and Australia.

    If true, the news does not bode well for the Kings, who would almost certainly be the South African team to face the axe. Verster has said he has been assured the Cheetahs are safe.


    In Australia, however, there has been much recent speculation about which side would miss out, if one is to be cut.

    There is currently a review of the Super Rugby competition being held by SANZAAR with a meeting being held in London this weekend.

    “All I can say is that we are safe. I keep my ear to the ground,” Verster said.

    “There is much discussion about the current series and the format and two teams of South Africa will fall out and a team of Australia.”

    “There was even speculation that we would return to a Super 12, but my information is that we are going to be reduced from the current 18 to 16 teams, which means the Cheetahs are safe.”

    There does not appear to be any kind of risk that the Queensland Reds or NSW Waratahs would be on the chopping block.

    However the Melbourne Rebels, Western Force and ACT Brumbies all have reason to potentially be concerned about their respective futures.

    The Force, being owned and operated by the ARU, might loom as the team that could be most easily shut down.

    The Rebels, however, have started the season in very poor form, and find themselves well outside rugby heartland.

    The Brumbies are Australia’s most successful side and a solid proposition on the field, but had significant off-field drama last year.

    The three sides must now endure a nervous wait until SANZAAR officially announces its plans for the future of the competition.

    Do you find yourself logged out of The Roar?
    We have just switched over to a secure site (https). This means you will need to log-in afresh. If you need help with recovering your password, please get in contact.

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (203)

    • March 14th 2017 @ 2:17pm
      Craigo said | March 14th 2017 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

      Cut the Waratahs !!!

      • Roar Guru

        March 14th 2017 @ 2:21pm
        pformagg said | March 14th 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

        I still prefer watching them lose to other teams, fills my heart with joy.

        • March 14th 2017 @ 3:24pm
          Rebellion said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

          Good Riddance Western Force and your soul-destroying brand of Wooden Spoon Rugby.

          An utter failure of a side and supporter base.

          Hopefully this is the end of Test matches in Perth against the Springboks (which seems to negate any home advantage).

          • March 14th 2017 @ 3:48pm
            Metalslugsman said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

            There are many of us who support them faithfully, since day 1 mind you, that would be gutted to see them go

          • Roar Guru

            March 14th 2017 @ 3:51pm
            pformagg said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

            wow wee, someone got triggered. haha

          • March 14th 2017 @ 5:14pm
            Timbo (L) said | March 14th 2017 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

            Not sure how you can make that statement
            Look at the table
            Look at how the Spirit won the NRC.
            A lot of those guys have stepped up into the big leagues now and are getting the job done.
            They outshone the team of impotent, shouldn’t be Wallabies that the Tah’s fielded the other night.
            The highlights Package looked like a Blooper reel with a T20 Score.

            • March 14th 2017 @ 5:57pm
              Jacko said | March 14th 2017 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

              Just look at which area is growing…the only growth area in Aus rugby is the Force. Rebels worth too much to cut so bye bye brumbies

              • Roar Guru

                March 14th 2017 @ 6:18pm
                Cadfael said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

                I agree. Even the the ACT has been our most successful, no way will the Reds or Tahs go. The Force and Rebels are looked as future growth areas so the Brumbies tucked into the middle of Southern Inland rugby would be the most likely to go.

              • Roar Guru

                March 14th 2017 @ 6:29pm
                Fionn said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:29pm | ! Report

                Anyone who thinks that Melbourne is a growth area for rugby is deluded.

              • March 14th 2017 @ 8:11pm
                Jacko said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:11pm | ! Report

                Glad we are allowed opinions…but only if they are the same as yours

              • Roar Guru

                March 14th 2017 @ 8:45pm
                Fionn said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:45pm | ! Report

                Melbournians I’ve spoken to don’t even know they have a rugby team, or that rugby is a different sport to league. Heck, most of them don’t even know about the Melbourne storm.

                Melbourne is a footy heartland. This won’t change.

              • Roar Rookie

                March 14th 2017 @ 8:58pm
                Kirky said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:58pm | ! Report

                Jacko! Two great minds think as one! cheers.

              • March 15th 2017 @ 2:31am
                hopalong said | March 15th 2017 @ 2:31am | ! Report

                Mot so sure that Kings will go.Other contenders are Lions (Despite recent performances) and Cheetahs.
                I hate politics.
                Stay tuned.

              • March 15th 2017 @ 12:42pm
                Jibba Jabba said | March 15th 2017 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

                Heh Jacko, as my daughter says – “”Dad I’d agree with you but then we would both be wrong ! ” 🙂

          • Roar Rookie

            March 14th 2017 @ 8:57pm
            Kirky said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:57pm | ! Report

            Rebellion, Dude you’re a one eyed probably Waratah, Reds or Brumby Fan with a skewed vision which means you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about!

            If one team has to go from Australia, it should be the Brumbies as they’re in hock with no money, the Rebels should be next preferred as they’re in hostile territory and will never do any good even if they do have a wealthy Kiwi benefactor, the Force are financial enough to save them from the ignominy, and at the end of the day why should they go anyway? ~ they’ve been brutalized since their very first Season and are still being harassed by clowns with attitudes like your own!

            I along with thousands of original ”Forcies” love our team and will defend and support it to the hilt and just because it’s based on the West Coast should never be a reason to get shed of it!

            Rugby in WA particularly in Perth is well supported and has a strong player and Fan base and if it is deemed they should go it would mean very likely the end of rugby in Western Australia and that would in the eyes thousands of Local Supporters be an absolute shame!

            The Rebels have no real right to be in Victoria based in Melbourne and the reason for that needs no scrutiny!

            The Brumbies have a Fan base and nothing else in particular, money is in the zilch zone and their Administration is hopeless as has been well and truly documented.

            Playing conditions must Favour the Force as it rarely rains whereby Melbourne has one of the most terrible weather patterns outside of Alaska, never the same for half a day! ~ The Brumbies in Canberra are based in the coldest place in Australia and the weather there on any given day will be cold, or raining or blowing like hell! ~ I’ve been to two games in Canberra and froze my old nuts of each time, never again!

            Touch and go between the Rebels or the Brumbies to get the axe!

            • March 15th 2017 @ 12:45pm
              Jibba Jabba said | March 15th 2017 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

              Don’t waste your oxygen on little rebellion – he was just trolling… Remember the article comes from a south african with vested interests – dont believe anything about this unless it is officially announced by sanzaaaaaaar

        • March 14th 2017 @ 10:21pm
          Michaelj said | March 14th 2017 @ 10:21pm | ! Report

          No joy here. All our teams should pull out and tell them to stick their stinking product where the sun don’t shine. We should declare war on the rest and revive the iron fist spirit of ’75.

          • March 14th 2017 @ 10:51pm
            Michaelj said | March 14th 2017 @ 10:51pm | ! Report

            PS: If Aus rugby allows itself to be bullied like this, it deserves to be brushed aside.

      • March 14th 2017 @ 3:37pm
        Mathew Stealer said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

        Craigo, where was that sellout last friday night you were harping on about on here 3 days before the game?

        • March 14th 2017 @ 6:01pm
          Craigo said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

          @ Mathew,

          You couldn’t buy more then single seats to Suncorp for the Broncos v Cows.

          The game started at 6.30pm Brisbane time. Id say the extra 3000 or so people could not make it through peak hour traffic in time.

          47,703 still pretty good.

          • March 14th 2017 @ 10:44pm
            Mathew Stealer said | March 14th 2017 @ 10:44pm | ! Report

            Yea 47,000 is a monster crowd for Rugby League.. your correct there

            • March 15th 2017 @ 7:17am
              Craigo said | March 15th 2017 @ 7:17am | ! Report

              @ Mathew Stealer

              Mate, Your kidding right!

              Super 18 Rugby will be lucky to get a crowd over 18,000 this year in Australia.

              Super Rugby are averaging 10,518 per game this year.

              Have a look at Saturday’s TV ratings on Foxtel.

              Sat STV #NRL #FoxLeague #NRLRaidersSharks 321k

              Sat STV #AFLW #FoxFooty Adelaide v Melbourne 65k

              Sat STV #SuperRugby #FoxSports: Reds v Crusaders 61k

              Sat STV #AFL #FoxFooty #JLTSeries: Richmond v Collingwood 95

          • March 15th 2017 @ 12:46pm
            Jibba Jabba said | March 15th 2017 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

            Georgia and Russia got 55,000 – 🙂

      • March 14th 2017 @ 6:10pm
        Birdy said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:10pm | ! Report

        Cut the brumbies so brisbane Broncos can be called a truly Aussie name as the fans always wanted.
        Brisbane Brumbies music to my ear.

        • March 14th 2017 @ 6:43pm
          Craigo said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:43pm | ! Report

          I like your thinking Birdy! “Brisbane Brumbies”

          But everyone hates the Waratahs so much and I would enjoy seeing them playing in the NRC only.

      • March 14th 2017 @ 9:10pm
        bored said | March 14th 2017 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

        Have to say, as a Rebels supporter who lives close to their stadium and went to their first match, I will just concentrate on following AFL, cricket and a bit of soccer.

        Union is for the islanders, not us Aussies.

        • March 14th 2017 @ 10:53pm
          In Brief said | March 14th 2017 @ 10:53pm | ! Report

          I agree, AFL is bored

        • March 15th 2017 @ 4:42am
          mania said | March 15th 2017 @ 4:42am | ! Report

          yeah u leave union to the big fast strong hard hitters

        • March 15th 2017 @ 7:24am
          Craigo said | March 15th 2017 @ 7:24am | ! Report

          @ bored,

          The Rebels are helping the Storm and RL big time with what they are putting on show in Melbourne over the last few years.

          Now Victorians can see what we all see in QLD, NSW and ACT.

          Rugby is League on Valium.

          • March 15th 2017 @ 11:08am
            Bored said | March 15th 2017 @ 11:08am | ! Report

            As a sport, I love union far more than league. The reason is, league seems artificial to me. You lay a tackle on some bloke and you have to walk away. What’s with that? Then that nonsense about uncontested scrums. Is NRL a contact sport or just keepings off? I find it a hard sport to take seriously. And the NRL players would die on the field playing AFL. I remember seeing that fella who crossed from NRL to play for the Suns, he looked fat and slow. He needed to lay off the fast food and do some exercise. But in that RL lark, you get all these breaks being such a stop start game. You can walk most of the game.

            As an outsider to Sydney sporting politics, I reckon this decision they are being forced into will inevitably be the beginning of the end of Super Rugby. It just does not work for anyone.

            Now for Rebels rugby to work, a good start is to copy the AFL blueprint. Every match they play on live FTA to build an audience. At the moment, they get a bit here and there on SEN radio, but I noticed since the rumours began they have gone to ground and there is media silence in Melbourne. Maybe the owner of the Rebels is taking the money to walk away? Mind you why would you get rid of the soon to be largest city in Australia and currently 2nd largest. Do you reckon people from rugby countries only migrate to NSW and QLD?

            The model is busted, they should have an Australian only league of union.

            • March 15th 2017 @ 2:48pm
              Craigo said | March 15th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report


              “And the NRL players would die on the field playing AFL. I remember seeing that fella who crossed from NRL to play for the Suns, he looked fat and slow. He needed to lay off the fast food and do some exercise.”

              Yet that “Fella” you’re taking about made it in the AFL’s top grade competition and held his spot in the Suns side for many years. (now playing Rugby Union for the Reds) Not bad for someone who is fat and slow!

              To say Hunt was fat and slow shows how little you really know about sport and sounds like you’re just preaching from the AFL’s fans propaganda handbook.

              No way in the world could any AFL player just walk into a NRL first grade side like Hunt did in the AFL.

              He would be Physically Smashed into submission in the fist 10 min. AFL players these days look like skinny basketball players.

              “Mind you why would you get rid of the soon to be largest city in Australia and currently 2nd largest.”

              Mate, Stop believing everything you read in the Herald Sun and The Age!
              Melbourne will never be bigger then Sydney.

              Again it sounds like you’re just preaching from the AFL’s fans propaganda handbook.

              Be happy being the second most populated state until Queensland takes over.

            • March 15th 2017 @ 4:46pm
              Agent11 said | March 15th 2017 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

              league, a “hard sport to take seriously” says the guy talking up a sport where you get awarded a point for missing…

        • March 15th 2017 @ 12:47pm
          Jibba Jabba said | March 15th 2017 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

          Why, you not tough enough bro ?

      • March 15th 2017 @ 2:49am
        Matt Jones said | March 15th 2017 @ 2:49am | ! Report

        time to leave Mt isa

    • March 14th 2017 @ 2:25pm
      Tigranes said | March 14th 2017 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

      It would have to be the Rebels – they have been an embarrassment to Australian rugby this year.

      The only way I can think that Imperium Group (the Rebels owners) is involved in super rugby is for tax reasons – basically they can offset the losses for the Rebels (which are considerable) against income from their other businesses. I would have to ask is that the motivation we want for them to be in the competition?

      • March 14th 2017 @ 2:40pm
        Celtic334 said | March 14th 2017 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

        Come on mate, they have played 2 games. One of them being the Hurricanes away from home.

      • March 14th 2017 @ 3:13pm
        Kane said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

        You know you’re financially better off if you just pay the tax instead of making losses to offset against your income right?

      • March 14th 2017 @ 3:47pm
        Perry Bridge said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

        The Rebels are so invisible in mainstream Melbourne that they really aren’t worth the trouble.

        The irony of course is there’s more grass roots Union than there is League but the NRL will get a big crowd to the SoO and the Storm get some publicity (i.e. people tend to know Cronk, Smith, Slater and the coach).

        • March 14th 2017 @ 5:59pm
          Jacko said | March 14th 2017 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

          Iv’e been to the MCG for Bledisloe cup sellouts so the support is there if they decide to develop it long term

          • March 14th 2017 @ 6:15pm
            me said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

            No you havent. Th last game there was 2007 and was about 70,000. Far from a sellout.

            • March 14th 2017 @ 6:40pm
              cjb said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:40pm | ! Report

              The year before was 95,000 and that was a sellout

            • March 14th 2017 @ 6:42pm
              Bring Back...? said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:42pm | ! Report

              And most from NZ, Qld and NSW anyway.

            • March 14th 2017 @ 6:50pm
              tigranes said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:50pm | ! Report

              FFS guys that was nearly 10 years ago…Rebels will not draw above 15,000 for any of their games this year

              • March 14th 2017 @ 7:00pm
                Celtic334 said | March 14th 2017 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

                They have had one game. Managed a tick over 10k. Not great but not laughable considering some other attendances so far

            • March 14th 2017 @ 8:14pm
              Jacko said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:14pm | ! Report

              F U ME. I said I have been to the MCG for a Bledisloe cup game and it was a sellout and I am right and you are full of it.

              • March 14th 2017 @ 8:47pm
                me said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:47pm | ! Report

                Largest bled cup crowd at mcg was 1997 around 90,000. Still not a sellout. F me all you want.

          • March 14th 2017 @ 6:36pm
            Republican said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

            ………those Beldisloes at the G are almost entirely patronised by Kiwis both expat and those that travel across the ditch, then NSWeslmen, ACT and Qlders.
            Union struggles to pull a crowd within its heartlands let alone in Melbourne.
            It will be throwing good $ after bad to invest any further in Vic Rugby in my humble opinion, while I still hold out hope for the future of WA Union.
            That said, yes the Brumbies will be brutally culled as the scapegoat for Super Rugbies avarice.

          • Roar Rookie

            March 14th 2017 @ 10:13pm
            Kirky said | March 14th 2017 @ 10:13pm | ! Report

            Jacko! You’re right mate there has been a sell out at the MCG, a fair while ago now and I think from memory it was All Blacks vs Wallabies game played for what, I’m unsure of now, but there was I’m sure just over or close to 100,000 in the stands!

            Back then the Rebels weren’t even on the scene but it was a well advertised full Test Match and at the time, I even thought it strange but it was probably out of AFL season and the general thought was that “good on the Aussies’ they’ll watch anything even rugby”!

    • March 14th 2017 @ 2:26pm
      KingCowboy said | March 14th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

      This is going to be a really tough decision for the ARU. Will feel bad for the fans of which ever team gets given the flick.

      • Roar Guru

        March 14th 2017 @ 2:56pm
        jeznez said | March 14th 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

        Do you flick a side or merge two teams?

        QLD and NSW as the two largest rugby nurseries would appear untouchable.

        So the debate then centres on WA, ACT and Vic.

        WA is attractive to the broadcaster as it gives a different time zone and looks like they are finally producing some home grown talent so I think they would be a challenge to cut. Their biggest issue is being financially viable and getting better on-field results.

        Does a merger of the Brumbies and Rebels create an opportunity? The Brumbies already have Southern NSW in their catchment area. Do they cede that back to the Tahs and then partner up with Vic Rugby?

        Given their off-field dramas is there an opportunity to tie in with the private ownership of the Rebels?

        Most importantly would a merged team be known as the Brumbels or the Rumbies?

        Realistically does the limited population in the ACT make them the challenging candidate – despite all the success they have had in the past?

        I think it would be problematic to completely cull a team in any of the locations we have so return to my opening question – is a merger the option?

        • March 14th 2017 @ 3:09pm
          Celtic334 said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

          If the season was longer i’d accept a merger down here in Melb, but the fact is i don’t think either the Melbourne or Brumbies fans fancy having only 2/3 games a year to watch. Plus any merger with Cox, i can almost guarantee he wouldn’t do it unless Melbourne was the dominant partner, hes a big believer in the potential of the market. Just like i couldn’t see any of the Canberra Mafia giving up anything other than dominance in the partnership and rightfully so. What a mess…..

          • March 14th 2017 @ 3:36pm
            Working Class Rugger said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

            It’s actually something I think the ARU should be demanding. A longer season. I get the feeling with the drop to 16 teams that we will see the end to the conference system. So the Super ’16’ would consist of a single round format of 15 games. But as a trade off for cutting a squad the ARU should demand that we get our home and away derbies back bringing the number of games to 18. So 9 home and 9 away.

          • Roar Guru

            March 14th 2017 @ 4:09pm
            jeznez said | March 14th 2017 @ 4:09pm | ! Report

            I think the size of the supporter base will dictate which would be the dominant partner. Melbourne has a clear advantage in potential.

            The follow on question would be what have we learnt from other mergers.

            How much connection do the West Tigers have as distinct to the old West/Balmain?

            Do Illawarra fans still buy in to the Dragons?

            Can a real identity be built bridging Canberra and Melbourne? If we can frame NSW as the bad guys that force the merger then do we get enough spice into subsequent encounters to get buy in from both identities?

            Having less matches in each location is massively less than ideal but would the strength of the combined squad give them an uptick in support?

            1. Sio
            2. Hanson
            3. Ala’alatoa
            4. Arnold
            5. Carter
            6. Timani
            7. Fainga’a
            8. Mafi
            9. Powell
            10.Lealiifano – all the best to him in his recovery
            11. Naivalu
            12. Hodge
            13. Kuridrani
            14. Koroibete
            15. Debreczeni

            16. Alexander/Ah Nau
            17. Leafa/Mann-Rea
            18. Leuluai’iali’i-Makin
            19. Staniforth/Cummins/Enever
            20. Smiler/Alcock/Reid/Schatz
            21. Stirzacker/Meehan
            22. Hawera/Garden-Bachop/Godwin/Volavola
            23. Inman/Speight/English/Toua/Dargaville

            Option might be to shift Inman to the centres or Godwin and have Hodge play FB.

            Would certainly be a strong squad and release a bunch of fringe players out to the other Aussie sides.

            • March 14th 2017 @ 4:23pm
              Celtic334 said | March 14th 2017 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

              1 Sio
              2 Hanson
              3 AAT
              4 Carter
              5 Arnold
              6 Timani
              7 McMahon (c)
              8 Mafi
              9 Powell
              10 CLL
              11 Naivalu
              12 Godwin
              13 Kurindrani
              14 Speight
              15 Hodge

              16 Completely new hooker
              17 Smith
              18 Weekes
              19 Staniforth
              20 Reid
              21 Stirzacker
              22 English
              23 Debreczini

              Would be a juicy team

              • Roar Guru

                March 14th 2017 @ 4:56pm
                jeznez said | March 14th 2017 @ 4:56pm | ! Report

                How could I forget McMahon!

                Missed Smith and Weekes as well!

                If forced to merge and with games split between Canberra and Melbourne – the pay off would be a much stronger squad if they can keep they guys they really want.

            • March 14th 2017 @ 6:23pm
              Birdy said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:23pm | ! Report

              No jeznez.
              I’m a cradle to the grave Balmain supporter. I still follow the west tjgers but my loyalty struggles. I have a lot of friends who have simply walked away from the game all together.
              Time for the ARU to flick sanzar and find the money to start their own comp with NZ. 12 teams sounds good.
              Ditching force rebels or brumbies is a one way ticket.forever.
              Good bye sanzar

              • Roar Guru

                March 14th 2017 @ 7:12pm
                jeznez said | March 14th 2017 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

                Cheers Birdy – sorry to hear that, and was my suspicion – suspect it is even worse for Steelers fans.

                Would love an Oz/NZ comp for which we could have the appropriate number of teams to be competitive but NZ won’t walk away from SA.

                The question then becomes can we find away to grow the game solo or do we compromise to make it work with the timezone issues that Super Rugby brings.

                If the merger question is do the Brumbies merge with the Tahs vs do the Brumbies merge with the Rebels (Brumbies being the merger unit due to smallest population in their area) then which would the club and their supporters choose?

              • March 14th 2017 @ 8:25pm
                Birdy said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:25pm | ! Report

                Hi Jeznez.
                Mergers dont work.
                Sanzar have proven they think the ARU will always cave in.
                The world rugby dont care about Australia either.Its money all the way for them. NZ dont understand that world rugby would profit directly from NZ rugby or plunder their players.
                Australia and NZ are better off bighting the bullet and go it alone. They may nevef have a better chance.
                Confidence in ths product goes a long way.look at the quality of the games now compared to pre 95.hell they have even learned how to tackle☺.
                The money is here in Australia.
                Its just that neither rugby code is professional enough to chase it.

              • March 14th 2017 @ 7:50pm
                Ryan said | March 14th 2017 @ 7:50pm | ! Report

                You are living in fairyland if you think NZ will jeopardize their Mitre 10 cup to go solo with Australia.

              • March 14th 2017 @ 8:29pm
                GWSINGAPORE said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:29pm | ! Report

                NZ has indicated that it does not want a Trans Tasman competition. NZ has a much deeper history with South African rugby and wouldbprefer to play those teams.

              • March 14th 2017 @ 9:55pm
                Bakkies said | March 14th 2017 @ 9:55pm | ! Report

                Brumbies merge with the Tarts like pigs could fly

              • March 15th 2017 @ 3:31am
                Tommy said | March 15th 2017 @ 3:31am | ! Report

                When did nz say they didn’t want to play Australia teams for a new competition

              • March 15th 2017 @ 9:50am
                Dave from Mt Druitt said | March 15th 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

                Considering at the moment Australia doesn’t have one competitive team with five teams I’m not sure why NZ would be interested in a 12 team trans Tasman competition.

                Unless of course it is intended that they have 7 or 8 teams but 6 each?

        • March 14th 2017 @ 3:33pm
          Harry Rugby said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

          Jeznez, I suspect that you are on the money.
          Force stays for geographical reasons. Reds and Tahrs are not going anywhere.
          Brumbies history dictates they retain their name in a merged entity with the Rebels. Could play couple of “home” games in Melbourne.
          Another benefit for ARU would be the private ownership factor.
          Perhaps all will depend on the willingness of Rebels owner to continue with merged entity or simply take the excuse & run.

        • March 14th 2017 @ 3:38pm
          Worlds Biggest said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

          That’s a good question Jez and one which could be a viable option for the Rebels and Brumbies. What about the Southern Brumbies based largely in Melbourne and a few home games in Canberra.

          I think the Force despite there mediocrity should be OK.

          • Roar Guru

            March 14th 2017 @ 4:14pm
            jeznez said | March 14th 2017 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

            I think given the potential of the Melbourne market that it would result in the lions share. Certainly the sponsors would want their dollars going into the larger population base.

            Would Canberrans turn up in larger numbers to fewer games if the performance was better/more attractive?

            Creating the Southern identity would be key to any merged franchise having success. Need something to tie to a region and allow rivalries to develop.

            • March 14th 2017 @ 4:41pm
              Sydneysider said | March 14th 2017 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

              GWS Giants play 4 “home” games in Canberra.

              • Roar Guru

                March 14th 2017 @ 4:58pm
                jeznez said | March 14th 2017 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

                That would be a potential fall back if in ensuing years the Vic component of the merger failed to take off – shift the team to be a West Sydney/Canberra team or even a NSW Country/ACT/West Sydney team and build the local rivalry to the North Shore/Eastern Suburbs Waratahs.

          • March 15th 2017 @ 12:11pm
            Markus said | March 15th 2017 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

            The Force’s best season in 12 years has been a mid-table finish, even mediocre is a season aspiration out of their reach.

        • March 14th 2017 @ 4:50pm
          Republican said | March 14th 2017 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

          ……..merging the brumbies with Rebels wouldn’t work for the rusted on Union community in the ACT and Southern NSW.
          They would drop their support of whatever they rebranded the entity as while over time Melbourne would assume more and more fixtures and ownership by virtue of their insatiable commercial clout.

          • Roar Guru

            March 14th 2017 @ 7:13pm
            jeznez said | March 14th 2017 @ 7:13pm | ! Report

            Merge them with the Tahs? My team could definitely use the help!

            • Roar Guru

              March 14th 2017 @ 8:23pm
              Mark Richmond said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:23pm | ! Report

              Sorry Jeznez, but that would be like Manly and Norths merging……oh wait?

        • March 14th 2017 @ 8:32pm
          AlBo said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:32pm | ! Report

          Ive been trying to think of a name least disrespectful to both teams and I came up with Southern Brumbies. Both south of their respective states. Inoffensive and still makes sense to play in both places.

          Anyway. A name can’t change feeling. It’s going to be a tough pill regardless.

    • March 14th 2017 @ 2:31pm
      Mark said | March 14th 2017 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

      Cutting the Brumbies on the basis of their off-field dramas last year would be extremely short-sighted.

      Better reasons for cutting them would be long-term declines in interest among the Canberra community and attendances at Brumbies matches, as well as the small size of the Canberra market.

      That said, I think they’ll survive by the skin of their teeth. Brumbies ‘derbies’ still generate a bump in interest for the Tahs and Reds. The Force, on the other hand, don’t generate any more interest than a South African team. The ARU will also be reluctant to hand over what has been a pretty fertile area for producing Wallabies to League and AFL.

      • March 14th 2017 @ 4:57pm
        Republican said | March 14th 2017 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

        Mark, I think you will find the gates and lack of interest in Super Rugby is across all ‘clubs’ and countries, bar Japan and perhaps Argentina given the novelty factor.
        I agree with you re the market being limited in Canberra however the city is growing steadily, with the forecast population over the next decade of around 500k, while the Brumbies are a regional side that pull significant support from the Southern NSW demographic.
        Just because a city like Melbourne or Perth are larger and provide a potentially a larger market, doesn’t always translate to success when that the product is not the right fit.

        • March 14th 2017 @ 5:32pm
          Mark said | March 14th 2017 @ 5:32pm | ! Report

          I agree completely. 4.5 million in Melbourne sounds nice compared to 0.5 million in Canberra, but all except a very small number of that Melbourne population will never care about the Rebels (or any other local Super Rugby club) no matter how much they are promoted and how successful they are on the field.

          The Rebels are totally invisible in Melbourne. If the ARU would rather fight for the scraps from that market (or the Perth market) rather than continue in the Canberra market that has served them well for such a long period of time, and in doing so hand that market over to their biggest competitor, then they have lost the plot.

          I also agree with your comment above that Canberrans won’t get behind a merged team with a partial presence in Canberra.

          • March 14th 2017 @ 6:11pm
            Jacko said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

            Sorry but the ACT rugby is dying. It has NO growth potential and isn’t financially paying its own way now, so that will only get worse. To drop the Forced would be just plain stupid as this is the only growth area in Aus for rugby and with the expat kiwi’s and Saffa’s it will continue to grow. Melbourne is currently as low as it will ever be, support and results wise but there is definately a Rugby community in Melbourne and Melbourne has the best financial support at present and has the most growth potention for the future in Players and in Commercial aspects. If Aus rugby drops anyone other than the brumbies it will be making a mistake

            • March 14th 2017 @ 6:29pm
              Republican said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:29pm | ! Report

              …….Jacko I believe that will be the rationale, however I add that Union is dying across the country. I don’t believe culling the Brumbies and sparing the Force and or Rebels will make an iota of difference to the destiny of the code here, so they may just as well maintain the status quo and spare the Brumbies while forging a relationship with Western Sydney rather than Melbourne me thinks.

              • March 14th 2017 @ 10:58pm
                In Brief said | March 14th 2017 @ 10:58pm | ! Report

                Union is not dying across the ‘country’. In fact in many places, including country areas and new markets like WA and Vic is growing. The only place it is ‘dying’ is on opinion boards like this and in the media which never supported it anyway. I would prefer a sport full of participants than one relying on couch potatoes.

      • March 15th 2017 @ 12:06am
        andrew said | March 15th 2017 @ 12:06am | ! Report

        At home, Force games against the Reds and Tahs barely generate any fan interest either – you get more crowds pulled in for Saffa and kiwi teams

    • March 14th 2017 @ 2:32pm
      MJ said | March 14th 2017 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

      I fear it’s going to be the Brumbies that are on the outer. Force’s location may well be their saviour if TV rights for Super Rugby are going to mean anything, and from what I’ve heard it’s the fact that many of Rugby’s bigger sponsors having a presence in Melbourne that may save them.

      • March 14th 2017 @ 9:56pm
        Bakkies said | March 14th 2017 @ 9:56pm | ! Report

        Yet Melbourne doesn’t have a major sponsor

    • Roar Guru

      March 14th 2017 @ 2:34pm
      Will Sinclair said | March 14th 2017 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

      Well I have to say I am going to miss the Reds.

      But you can’t say they didn’t have their chance. And they wasted it completely.

    , ,