Kieran Read has called for changes to the Super Rugby conference system.

The All Blacks captain Kieran Read is the latest rugby identity to call for Super Rugby's conferences to be axed.

The move to split the competition into conferences was controversial when it was first introduced in 2011.

Read is expected to make his long-awaited return to Super Rugby when his Crusaders take on the Highlanders at AMI Stadium on Friday night. He said Super Rugby should not continue in its current state.

"I like the idea of a full round robin where you play everyone once, but we can't continue with this conference system moving forward," Read, who underwent back surgery following the 2017 All Blacks campaign, told RadioLIVE.


Asked about the potential expansion of the competition to include a team from one of the Pacific Island nations or a combined Pacific side, Read said governing body Sanzaar needed to get the competition under control before worrying about expanding the number of teams.

"They have to work something out there before expansion. A round robin or something along those lines would be fairer for everyone and result in a better product for the fans who turn up every week," Read said.

He supported a Pacific Island team in Super Rugby but not until the current conference system was done away with.

Earlier this year, Chiefs coach Colin Cooper called on Sanzaar to go back to a round robin format.

Because of the conference system, New Zealand sides play each other twice in home and away fixtures before the playoffs.

Cooper urged a return to a basic round-robin format, with one overall points table. He was quickly supported by Chiefs co-captain Sam Cane.