Sean Fitzpatrick's Super solution

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 10:00

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW - PART ONE: Legendary former All Black captain Sean Fitzpatrick, in a one-on-one interview with Jan de Koning, explains what he believes the best remedy for the ailing Super Rugby tournament is.

Fitzpatrick, who was a member if the Auckland team that played in the first Super Rugby competition upon South Africa's return from isolation in 1993, suggested that 'less is better' for the tournament.

He made it clear 18 teams were too many and even next year's 15-team Super Rugby competition may be too voluminous and unworkable.

"There were just too many mismatches," Fitzpatrick told rugby365.

"The most competitive games is when you have the best teams playing against each other."

He suggested that a two-tier system - where the top teams play each other and the lesser teams play each other - with a promotion-relegation aspect will be the best for the competition going forward.

"We need to make sure we have competitive games going forward," he said, adding: "I am not sure reducing it by three teams is going to make a real difference.

"I would have two divisions of 12 teams each. I think back to the Super 12, that was the best rugby I was involved in - when everyone played everyone.

"I know there's an issue with trying to find those other six teams, on top of the 18 teams there was.

"We need to have a more competitive environment.

"If you look at the New Zealand franchises, those were hugely competitive games."

He suggested that the play-offs were all very competitive, but that the season was too long and the fact that everybody did not play all the other teams was problematic.

He added that while the Southern Hemisphere has some good players and teams, they are coming up from the Northern Hemisphere - who are "upping the ante".

"The Lions tour showed they have some world class players.

"In terms of a global game, it is looking very good."

By Jan de Koning

* Don't miss parts two and three when Fitzpatrick gives his thoughts on the upcoming Rugby Championship and explains why New Zealand is so far ahead of the rest of the world.

Waratahs vs Stormers
sast: 10h45 | local: 19h45

  • 24 | 24
Sat, 24 February 2018
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
Crusaders v Stormers 06h35 Christchurch
Sat, 24 February 2018
Crusaders v Chiefs 45 | 23
Sunwolves v Brumbies 25 | 32
Fri, 23 February 2018
France v Italy 34 | 17
Leinster v Kings 64 | 7
Dragons v Edinburgh 12 | 25
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 21 | 10
Rebels v Reds 45 | 19
Highlanders v Blues 41 | 34
Mon, 19 February 2018
NWU-Pukke v UJ 18 | 15
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 27 | 32
Maties v CUT-Ixias 75 | 12
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 29 | 32
Sun, 18 February 2018
Dragons v Treviso 15 | 18
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13 | 7
Sat, 17 February 2018
Cardiff Blues v Munster 25 | 18
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 1 1 0 0 5
Brumbies 1 1 0 0 4
Sunwolves 1 0 0 1 1
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 1 1 0 0 5
Highlanders 1 1 0 0 4
Blues 1 0 0 1 1
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 1 1 0 0 4
Lions 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 1 0 0 1 0