Breaking: SANZAAR Reveals New Super Rugby Format
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SANZAAR has revealed its new Super Rugby format which will feature only four Australian teams.
Currently an 18-team competition, SANZAAR has confirmed the 2018 edition will revert to a three conference, 15-team format: five teams from New Zealand, four from Australia, four from South Africa, one from Japan; and one from Argentina.
The Perth-based Western Force are considered the most likely Australian team to be cut — with that decision to now be made by the ARU.
South Africa will lose two teams, with the Kings and Cheetahs on the chopping block.
The new Australian conference will include the Sunwolves of Japan while the New Zealand conference will include the Jaguares of Argentina.
120 match regular season plus seven match finals series
Three conferences (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa)
18 rounds [16 matches per team, two bye weeks]
Each team will play eight matches within its conference (four home and four away)
Each team will play eight cross-conference matches — against four of the five teams from each of the other two conferences (four at home and four away)
Each team will play 12 of the other teams within the season (85% of opposition teams which is up from 70% in 2016).
Eight team Finals Series: Three Conference winners and; five wildcard places — the next best performing teams based on competition points after the Conference winners regardless of Conference. Conference winners and fourth-placed team on competition points will host quarter-finals.