Join our mailing list now! Join our mailing list now!
Close Notice
Show scores

SANZAAR takes Twitter bashing


SANZAAR takes Twitter bashing from players and fans over 'kick in the guts' for Sunwolves

Fans from all over the world have taken to Twitter to react to the news that the Sunwolves will be axed from Super Rugby after the 2020 season.

The decision was announced by SANZAAR after it became unsustainable for the Japanese outfit to remain in the competition as the Japan Rugby Football Union could not continue to financially underwrite them after 2020. The team will remain in the competition in 2020, before it reverts back to a 14-team round robin competition.

Many fans have taken to Twitter to lambast SANZAAR’s handling of the competition. Super Rugby was expanded to 18 teams in 2016, before Australia’s Western Force, as well as South Africa’s Cheetahs and Southern Kings were axed. Another alteration to the competition has left many fans wondering what the future has in store for Super Rugby, with interest dwindling.

However, this announcement has not been met with universal disdain. Once heralded as the best competition in world rugby, Super Rugby has been on a steady decline in recent years. The quality has become diluted as teams have been added to the competition, compared to the days of fewer teams but of a higher quality. In that regard, many fans are excited to see Super Rugby return to how it used to be, particularly with a simplified format.

Although the Sunwolves have gradually improved in the competition, shown by their first victory on New Zealand soil this year against the Chiefs, they are still a far-cry from the consistent standard that many fans would want to see. Therefore, in terms of the quality of Super Rugby, many fans can get on board with this decision.

Additionally, South African teams and fans support this idea, particularly due to the vast amount of travelling that is involved, which also entails trips to Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, and has subsequently seen viewing figures plummet. However, with a number of South African teams showing an interest in joining the northern hemisphere’s Pro14 competition, the future may still remain nebulous.

The addition of the Sunwolves was initially done to promote the globalisation of rugby, however, many feel that it was never sustainable. But with Japan hosting the World Cup this year, losing their Super Rugby franchise the year after seems like one step forward and another backwards to many fans. In the short term, concerns are being raised as to how the moribund Sunwolves can drum up support over the next season and a half. They currently have a strong fanbase in Japan, and it is yet to be seen what will happen now this announcement has been made.

Questions are also being asked by fans as to where this leaves Japanese rugby after the World Cup. Of course, SANZAAR needs to think about promoting the floundering Super Rugby competition, but many fans feel like that is being done at the expense of one of rugby’s biggest developing nations.

Wallaby legend Tim Horan has also joined the discussion on Twitter, describing how there is “so much momentum in Japanese and Asian rugby”. However, former Wallaby Dean Mumm has described the state of affairs most succinctly on Twitter, describing the Sunwolves’ addition as “short sighted”, but highlighting how Japan have now been excluded.

This is what they said:

Rugby seems to be going through a lot of changes at the moment, both at a club level and an international level, but this is one that many saw coming as SANZAAR are desperately trying to tweak Super Rugby in an attempt to return to its halcyon days.

Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.

SANZAAR takes Twitter bashing from players and fans over 'kick in the guts' for Sunwolves
Search Loading