Failed cash grab leaves Sunwolves on Super Rugby cutting room floor | Bret Harris

The Japanese franchise should never have been admitted to the competition, but Sanzaar now risks compounding the mistake

The Super Rugby axe has swung once again, this time falling on the neck of the Tokyo-based Sunwolves, following a decision made in the same year the Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan. As with previous cullings, the move raises many questions and serves as just the latest example of the mess Super Rugby has found itself in over recent years.

The competition began as Super 12 and that is how it remained for the first nine years, but since then it has expanded and contracted as Sanzaar sought a model to appeal to broadcasters. Ignoring warnings, Sanzaar expanded to an unwieldy 18 teams in 2016, adding the Sunwolves and Argentina’s Jaguares, but has since scrambled to undo the damage expansion caused.

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