Super Rugby boss Andy Marinos reveals revised competition could run to end of 2020

Super Rugby could realistically run until the end of 2020, according to SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos.

The competition was put on hold last month, as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe.

Strict border controls across all five Super Rugby nations mean a domesticated format is most likely, if or when the competition resumes.

On Tuesday, Newshub revealed that organisers were willing to run both Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship side-by-side to ensure the season was completed in some shape or form. 

And Marinos has confirmed officials have the rest of the year to get the job done.

Speaking to Newshub, Marinos said if Super Rugby began by October, then the competition wouldn't be cancelled.

"If you start getting towards the back end of September/October and we still haven't had a resumption of rugby, I think logic would say that's when we would consider that [cancelling the season]," Marinos told Newshub. 

"We have a calendar that can now go up until the end of December and our players are now on an extended period of rest, so we have till the end of 2020 to configure something.

"I wouldn't want to be definitive as to when there is a point of no return. We have to work with the confines that we have and, at the moment, that looks like between May and December 31… to put a competition structure together and get a competition under our belts."

That competition will look very different to what fans are used to.

Marinos confirmed that it would shift focus to a domestic format across three different zones.

The Argentinian Jaguares would be based in South Africa, while the Japanese Sunwolves would join the Australian franchises. 

Marinos said that resuming the competition in its traditional form wasn't possible, given the current state of international travel.

"We will continue to work closely with all the governments and health authorities in all the jurisdictions we are playing. That's central to our focus at this point.

"We have put a revised competition format to the front of the table, which is largely domestically focused and that is within the controls we can manage. 

"That's what we are looking at. We still have time and we will certainly look at how we optimise both the international and 'Super' programmes, but the clear message is the Super format we are used to for so many years will become a local-market focus, without the necessary crossover."

Marinos said the situation was "very fluid" and SANZAAR was in constant communication with officials from all five Super Rugby nations.