Herald rugby writers Patrick McKendry and Gregor Paul come up with what they think would be the best structure for the future of Super Rugby.

Patrick McKendry: Super 16

It's clear the current Super Rugby competition is so confusing that it's unsustainable. It's also clear that there are too many weak teams in it.

So, scrap conferences, cut two teams at least, and get back to a true competition where every team plays every other.

I would chop the Kings from next year, or bring in a relegation test where the bottom South African team goes - which would mean chopping the Kings.


I would also let the Perth-based Force go. It's tempting to cull the Rebels as well, but I'd be inclined to keep them because of the role they play in the football battleground of Melbourne.

Now you have a 16-team competition (Sunwolves get a reprieve for their role in promoting the game in Japan, and Argentina's Jaguares deserve to be there as Rugby Championship partners), and if every team plays every other, you don't need conferences.
Currently the bloated competition goes for 17 rounds before the play-offs. My 16-team competition would go for 15 rounds, plus play-offs, which would be held before the June test window.

Sorry South Africa and Australia, you don't get guaranteed places in the play-offs, as you do now. The current set-up makes a mockery of the competition. For example, the Crusaders, with three wins out of three, are in fifth place on 12 competition points, with the Sharks (9 points) and Brumbies (6) above them in third and fourth place respectively. That's a joke and a turn-off to the supporters of New Zealand teams.

A new, fairer competition would get more buy-in from supporters and players, and that must be a positive for Sanzaar.

Gregor Paul: Super 14

The long term future probably looks totally different, but for next year and until the end of the current deal in 2019, Super Rugby cutting back to 14 teams and going traditional round robin has most appeal.

Everyone says the most important thing is having universally fair routes to the playoffs and that the competition can't be extended beyond the current number of weeks it occupies.

The best way to achieve equity is a roundrobin and the maximum number of teams that can be accommodated in that format, to fit the window is 14.

So four have to go - Kings, Sunwolves, Force and Cheetahs. Rebels survive only because Melbourne has financial potential.