Under a new decision by SANZAR, Super rugby just got bigger, longer and harder; in other words, better.
The new 135 team/ 12 conference system will run for 14 months and will have a 130 team play-off system with each of the three member nations guaranteed at least one play-off game. There will also be more "local derbies" as teams will be required to play others from their country at least twice a week.
"We hope that this new system will revitalise rugby in the Southern Hemisphere and attract fans and cash-laden sponsors back to the game," said Steve Tew of the NZRU. "We realise that the burden of having to find roughly 1,200 New Zealand players of Super rugby quality might be tough, but quite frankly the Masterton Seniors second XV could still beat the Queensland Reds."
New Zealand's 40 new franchises are listed here.
John O'Neill of the ARU explained some of the other changes: "We're changing the rules so they have to kick the ball every three minutes and forward passes are legal! And at least one game per season is going to be played on top of Uluru! WOOP WOOP!! I'm batshit fucking crazy!"
The new changes will come into effect in the 2010-11 season and be reviewed for change again in the 2012-13 season because SANZAR has said it doesn't want a competition to run for more than two years before trying to fix something that isn't broken.