Let’s take one of the world’s most intense rugby leagues and make each team play 16 games instead of the 13 that we have come accustomed to. If you think that is bad well, just you wait.
The old format of playing each team either home or away will fall away. The new system will now group the countries into ‘conferences’ (a South African conference etc.) and each team within that conference will play each other both home and away. That already takes us to eight games and will equal eight weeks of Super Rugby. The next phase will be each side playing four out of the five sides from the other conferences (so four from New Zealand and four from Australia from a South African perspective).
Once we have gone through 16 weeks of Super Rugby (more than the 2010 season) we will now face the finals weeks. The top team from each conference will qualify for the finals, obviously ranked in first, second and third according to their rank. The final three sides will be selected purely on their accumulated points no matter what conference they are in; almost like the fastest losers in athletics.
Okay, here is a moment to take all of that in because it is just about to get more interesting; the first and second ranked sides now rest for a week whilst four sides go into the play-offs, as the Yanks would call it, where team three plays team six and team four plays team five with the winners going into the semi-finals.
By the time we reach the finals the two finalists would have played 18 games of Super Rugby. Fatigue is going to play a major a factor and I fear that injuries are going to wipe out a majority of the Southern Hemispheres players. Let’s hope this works.