Henry and Hansen aligned on Super Rugby draft and trades
The Super Rugby Commission promises to add flavour to what has become a lopsided competition and proposed changes now have the backing of two of the world’s great rugby minds.
This week, sporting headlines have been grabbed by a 19-year-old by the name of Victor Webanyama, a young Frenchman who has been referred to as “maybe the greatest prospect in the history of team sports”, and is preparing to be drafted with the number one pick in Friday’s NBA draft.
The hype across the basketball community is fierce and along with the ongoing trade season, has kept interest very much alive and thriving despite this being the offseason.
Super Rugby has the opportunity to replicate that sort of engagement, with the addition of similar innovations which would also – and perhaps more importantly – add to the competitive value of the competition.
“We’ve had some great games,” Sir Graham Henry told Stuff’s Newsable podcast, discussing the Super Rugby Pacific season. “We’ve had some mismatches as well.
“I see New Zealand and Australian rugby are looking at having a separate organisation to run Super Rugby and have a draft system. I think having even teams is really important and some of the teams haven’t been that competitive because they simply haven’t got the players to be competitive.
“So I think that’s a good step in the right direction, going forward.”
Sir Graham Henry and Sir Steve Hansen have both joined the podcast in the past week and voiced their approval of a draft system and even the ability to trade players. Hansen’s views were summarized when he said: “The Super competition comes under a lot of scrutiny, and there are some good ideas coming out of Australia about how to jazz it up a bit. Hopefully, we are open and flexible enough in our thinking to maybe try that.”
Eligibility laws would have to be amended to accommodate players being drafted and/or traded between the Super Rugby clubs, an adjustment both coaches see as worthwhile.
“I think there should be a trading system,” Henry continued. “To make sure the sides are reasonably even.
“If you look at the contract finance for each team there’s quite a big difference between, say, the Crusaders and the Highlanders.
“That reflects the quality of the two sides – so having equal finance for each team going forward so that results in a pretty even competition I think would be a positive thing.”
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