As if the new Super Rugby format could be criticised any more.

It started with the fans, now it's the players' turn.

All Blacks hooker Dane Coles told Tony Veitch on Newstalk ZB that it wasn't fair that New Zealand teams should have to play each other twice, knowing they have the hardest games in the competition.

The Hurricanes captain said playing New Zealand-based sides is almost like playing in an international test match and it wasn't fair they had to play eight games like that in a season.


"Playing against New Zealand teams twice in one year is pretty tough," Coles said.

"Moving forward, if we want to see New Zealand teams win the competition, then playing the Kiwi teams once will be enough."

Coles understands Sanzar are trying to create a global product, but said he'd rather see a stiffer competition than a larger one.

"You want quality sides in the competition to make it the best competition in the world.

"Just keeping it simple is better. We don't need to over-complicate things."

Instead, Coles would rather go back to the old Super Rugby format where the playoffs were determined by the top-ranked teams overall.

"Yeah, you play every team once, and the top eight qualify and you're away laughing. That's the way I'd like it."

Coles hoped the players would have a stronger voice moving forward and that Sanzar would create a competition everyone can understand and enjoy; fans, media and players.