SANZAAR need to think outside the box: Pienaar

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

World Cup winning skipper Francois Pienaar has challenged SANZAAR to "think outside the box" and "accommodate" teams, rather than culling them.

Speaking at a skills clinic in Perth today, the South African great proposed a radical two-tier system which would involve promotion and relegation of Super Rugby teams.

"I don't think they're nearly as progressive as they can be in their thinking," Pienaar said.

"Taking out three teams - is that going to radically change the game?

"I think there should be two sections.Will Matt Hodgson and the Force survive? Photo: Walmsley"I've given this quite a bit of thought - there should be a small "A" section and a small "B" section, with promotion and relegation and playoff systems.

"All of the teams would be accommodated, you would still get your big matches and the game is going to grow.

"By culling teams, you're not going to grow the game."

While the concept is intriguing, SANZAAR has already signalled that next year's Super Rugby competition will feature just 15 teams.

Should the Force go, Pienaar believes the game will lose significant ground in Western Australia.Pienaar has challenged SANZAAR to think outside the box. Photo: Getty Images"It's great to see the youngsters out here today because this is where rugby starts," Pienaar said.

"Children want heroes because that's what they aspire to.

"That is the ultimate.

"They watch them play on the weekend - a phenomenal match against the Kings - and now they get an opportunity to actually be coached by the players that played in that game.

"It's all about creating heroes and that aspiration for them to one day want to wear the Force jersey.

"If you don't have that it will peter away and less kids will play rugby and participate in sport."