Super Rugby Aotearoa: All Blacks stars call for competition review before 2021

Some of our top All Blacks have called for NZ Rugby to seriously review Super Rugby Aotearoa, before committing to it for another year.

This week, Newshub has revealed the option is firmly on the table for 2021, as the COVID-19 crisis worsens across the ditch, raising doubts over a potential trans-Tasman competition.

The revamped post-lockdown format is widely seen as the closest thing to test-match rugby, but the injury toll has been brutal.

For that reason, those involved feel changes need to be made, if the competition is rolled out again next year.

"I'd like to see more teams added or a different schedule put out there," says Hurricanes co-captain TJ Perenara. 

"I really enjoy the competition itself, I just don't think the way it's structured at the moment is sustainable."

Crusaders skipper Codie Taylor agrees, but wants more opponents than just the Kiwi derbies.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss playing Australian or South African teams, just because it adds different challenges," he says.

They likely won't face their rivals from across the ditch anytime soon. 

With the Australian coronavirus situation getting worse by the day, a second year of Super Rugby Aotearoa is more likely, with a potential cross-border playoff format also touted.

Wallabies and former Chiefs coach Dave Rennie's clear on his preferred concept.

"I think a trans-Tasman competition is important and important for both countries," he says. "It's a great opportunity for our young kids to get involved in professional footy and get that experience."

Current Chiefs coach Warren Gatland has fallen foul of several referee's blunders this season and his philosophy is a little more to the point.

"Maybe a captain's challenges on the field... I think that would be a positive," he chuckles.

But the general feeling among franchises is that they have the foundations to make the format work again.

"If it is Aotearoa, then we can make it even better, I believe," says Crusaders coach Scott Robertson. 

"Going forward, I think there will be adjustments to the competition," says Perenara.

As Australia's covid crisis goes from bad to worse, it's fast becoming the only option.

Join us at 7pm Saturday for live updates of the Hurricanes v Chiefs Super Rugby Aotearoa clash

Super Rugby Aotearoa: All Blacks stars call for competition review before 2021