Former All Black Andrew Mehrtens was right to say it's time for Super Rugby to cut South Africa loose.
Super Rugby is not necessarily dead as a concept, but Super Rugby featuring South Africa, is.
The Springboks are world champions but that shouldn't be viewed as evidence that all is well in the Republic.
It's not and while most trends in rugby tend to be cyclical, the reality in South Africa is a little different as they seem to have reached an irreversible place where none of their best players want to stay.
They have a problem they can't fix or contain as the impact of their best players scarpering offshore is being felt as hard, if not harder in New Zealand, than it is in South Africa.
In 2018 there were more than 400 South Africans playing professionally overseas and a further 55 left Super Rugby this year.
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The numbers tell only half the story, though, as it's the big names who are leaving and of the Springboks' 31-man World Cup squad, only seven will be playing in Super Rugby in 2020.
A couple have retired but Duane Vermeulen, Handre Pollard, Eben Etzebeth, Malcolm Marx, Lood de Jager, RG Snyman, Kwagga Smith and Damian de Allende are taking up overseas contracts.
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They will join the likes of Faf de Klerk, Francois Louw, Franco Mostert, Cheslin Kole, Frans Steyn and Willie le Roux who are already playing overseas.
Somehow the Boks are making this scenario work for them. They have become like the Brazilian football team – pulling their stars from clubs all over the world and melding them into an effective international team, while their domestic game serves only as a launchpad for aspiring youngsters to get their ticket out.
Maybe this is sustainable for them. Maybe the Boks can stay at the summit of the international game picking the bulk of their players from offshore clubs but that's not really New Zealand's primary concern at the moment.
New Zealand Rugby need to see the scenario through a self-preservation lens and conclude it is not working for them and nor is this simply a phase South African rugby is going through.
There is no end in sight to this European and Japanese gold rush. There is no light at the end of the tunnel for South Africa – an obvious moment in time where they can see that the player market will swing back in their favour.
There is no bright, shiny future just lurking behind a few more tough years as the hundreds of top South African players scattered across the world's various professional competitions are not suddenly about to flood back to Super Rugby.
And the South African Rugby Union have all but given up trying to keep the last remaining Boks and other emerging talent in the Republic and the old arguments about why New Zealand desperately needs to be aligned with South Africa have to be reconsidered.
Back in the mists of time when Super Rugby emerged from the ashes of the failed World Rugby Corporation, New Zealand clung to South Africa, convinced of its economic might and provincial rugby prowess.
With a new, democratically elected government and an abundance of natural minerals, South Africa's economy was destined to boom and with it a burgeoning middle class was sure to emerge and discover rugby.
A population of 55 million meant there was enormous growth potential for broadcast audiences and attendances given so few had previously ever had the means or inclination to get into rugby.
And the rugby potential was just as obvious. Transvaal, Natal, Northern Transvaal...everyone knew they were already good but give them a few years of professionalism and they would be setting the bar at frightening heights.
New Zealand couldn't go it alone in the professional world they told themselves. They needed South Africa first, Australia second but always South Africa with their playing and financial riches creating a bigger pot from which everyone would get their share.
Almost 25 years on and the picture is vastly different to the one everyone envisioned.
South Africa's economy is in the dumps, the Rand has collapsed, and crime has remained at extraordinarily high levels.
Only one South African team has ever won Super Rugby and they tried and spectacularly failed to run six Super Rugby teams and are now struggling to keep even four competitive.
The players have run for the hills and they are not coming back and it's not possible to hoodwink fans that they are watching something special when every year player traffic out of South Africa increases.
So what was once a natural and mutually beneficial alliance no longer is and it has become faintly comical that New Zealand is clinging to South Africa believing this bond makes them safe, unable to see or admit that their old friend is in fact dragging them down.
At the moment the alliance works for South Africa, not so much, or if at all for New Zealand.
The South Africans are able to expose their young and inexperienced Super Rugby squads to New Zealand's star-studded casts and fast-track their development.
It's a phenomenal rugby apprenticeship for young South Africans – to learn the hard way what happens if you miss touch, or switch off for a second.
But the question has to be asked what's in this for New Zealand's teams? A few years back NZR's high performance team said Super Rugby should retain links with South Africa as it was important to expose players to the Republic – where they would have to play if they became All Blacks.
The argument had validity but now it's not a remotely strong enough reason to keep this dead duck of an alliance going and to persevere with a phenomenally expensive and ultimately flawed competition.
New Zealand's Super Rugby players need a tougher challenge than the one South Africa's teams present and there is no reason to see that changing in the next five years.
Surely it wouldn't be catastrophic to the All Blacks' chances of winning tests in South Africa if half the squad had never played there before?
The whole business of how to structure Super Rugby is a vexed issue that has become quite extraordinarily exhausting in the last decade, but it can't be dismissed just because it is boring.
We have had expansion and contraction. We have had conference systems and round-robins. We have had Japan come in and Japan go out. The Kings and Cheetahs have bunked off to play in Europe and the Western Force are trying to re-emerge somewhere else.
Nothing has quite worked. Crowds have declined overall with sharp drops in South Africa and Australia in the last 10 years and attendances fell six per cent in New Zealand last year.
The finances of every team in the competition don't look great and in South Africa and Australia they are particularly bad.
Insolvency hasn't yet gripped but that's only because of a few low key national union bail outs Australia doesn't currently have a broadcast offer for 2021 and yet, somehow, everyone seems to think doing the same thing for the next five years will see everything magically fixed.
Super Rugby has not worked with South Africa. That penny needs to drop.