Super Rugby to be fan-friendly

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The new Super Rugby format might take a little time to get used to but Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says his focus will be on style over schedule.

Cheika has already visited the Super Rugby provinces ahead of the 2016 season, speaking with players and coaches about his philosophy for the Wallabies and sought views on each franchise’s plans.

The Wallabies mentor is confident fans will see plenty of spectator-friendly Rugby from the Australian franchises in 2016.

“Like everything that’s new, it takes time for it to gel with people but I think the most important thing is the quality of the football we play,” he said.

“I think what we show off the field , not just in the technical bits but how we want to play the game and our intent.

“I’ve really seen that in all the teams that have been playing so far,

”They look like they’ve got a lot of intent with the way they want to play this year and I think that's going to only make the games better to watch.”

Adding Argentina and Japan to the mix will only add more flavour to the competition, cheika said.

“Once they start to see the Jaguares and (get teams) to play in Japan it’ll really excite people,” he said.

“Not for the fake reasons but just because, wow, you get to see the totally different styles.

“How they’ll play, how we’ll play and if our teams stick to their true way of playing that’s going to be a good contest.”

Cheika said it would be interesting to see how the teams handled the expanded competition, particularly the new Jaguares.

“It’s a big demand on them from a travel point of view but the Argentinians are some of the most resilient people I know and they’ll thrive on that type of being together.”

Asked for his tip in the Australian conference, Cheika was a fence sitter.

“You look at the Waratahs and Brumbies, they’ll be the leaders in that way but from what I’ve seen from all the teams have speaking to the coaches about some of the philosophy,” he said.

“I think this year is going to be relatively close going in the Australian conference."