South Africa, Argentina and France should be the South African Rugby Union’s Tri Nations of choice.
The SANZAR alliance between New Zealand, Australia and south Africa has never worked for South Africa. The biggest beneficiary has been Australia.
Let the love affair between New Zealand and Australia prosper with the addition of the Pacific Islands and Japan.
Leave any interaction with Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the Pacific Islands, to Test rugby. It will also add to the seduction of Test rugby between South Africa and these blokes if the only time we see them in South Africa is because of Test rugby.
From a regional and provincial perspective the liaison that South Africa should be working is that between France’s top four teams, South Africa’s six regions and two sides from Argentina. That’s the way back to a Super 12 competition that pits strength against strength, has no prejudice when it comes to travel and time zones aren’t an issue. Alternatively a Super 14 with six SA, six French and two Argentinean sides. The detail can be refined. The principle doesn’t need refining.
South Africa has always been at a disadvantage in Super Rugby. Our teams travel for a month, whereas the most a New Zealand or Australian side travels is three weeks. Occasionally they’ve done the month trip – and then we’ve never heard the end of it.
There were years when South African teams played five matches in succession in Australia and New Zealand. It was rugby suicide.
The play-offs have also historically been a disaster because invariably a team has had to travel 12 000 miles to play the final just a week after playing a semi-final.
Our rugby will also be improved with regular contact between France. I’d leave England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland out of the equation, and this way the Heineken Cup retains its European exclusivity and you give the French club owners, in particular, something greater than just a domestic title challenge.
Argentinean domestic rugby would also be the beneficiary.
A competition of this nature logistically is possible.
Super Rugby was never ideal for South Africa’s players. Our game has always needed to look more north than south.
We’ve seen enough of the Aussies and Kiwis on a regional basis. Let’s get the French and Argie connection going and let’s get the tradition of strength back in our Currie Cup.