There was a meeting in Tokyo yesterday where Sanzaar were supposed to quiz the Australian and South African Unions on their progress in deciding which Super 18 teams were due to be euthanised.
I haven’t seen any official report from the meeting but there was an interesting article on Supersport.com, repeated on Sport 24 that there is some question over any cuts due to the legal situation in Australia – both threatened teams taking legal action against the ARU. Apparently the Cheetahs may also be turning to the law to stave off being axed –
The problem comes now with the Rebels, who are privately owned, this week launched a court case against the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) to stop the governing body from “buying back their license from them.”
With the Western Force also threatening legal action and the Cheetahs locally reported to have sought legal advice from a senior advocate, the 2018 cut is far from a done deal.
SANZAAR’s governing body will meet in Tokyo on Thursday in a “heads of state meeting” where the progress in the Super Rugby cuts are meant to be discussed, but Supersport.com’s information is that unless the cuts are approved in both Australia and South Africa, SANZAAR will be forced to continue with the 18-team competition until 2021.
Of course all of this would have been avoided if Sanzaar hadn’t tried to expand without thinking it through. Michael Lynagh was interviewed for Fox Sports yesterday –
“We’re all for expansion, but it just wasn’t ready and it was ill-thought out from the start.
“I get asked continually in the streets: ‘which team is going to be cut?’
“Nobody’s talking about how the competition is going except: ‘aren’t the New Zealand games great?’
“What we used to have with the Super 12 and Super 15 was a great competition.
“You’d play a home and away on a yearly basis.
“You’d play all the games very quick, a very good standard, you’d have a playoff and then a final and it was done in one go.
Hard to argue – if they are forced (ha ha) to keep all 18 teams then next year will be even worse.