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Plumtree not happy with Super Rugby format

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Article Published: Monday 27 February 2012|

Sharks coach John Plumtree says that the current Super Rugby format has too many derby matches for his liking as it creates a strain on the players.

The new format was adopted last year in order to cut down on the international travel which the South African teams felt was not in their favour.

South African Super Rugby teams had complained that Super Rugby was more difficult for them as they would tour for up to five weeks but this is no longer applicable as the new format has the teams playing their local opposition twice instead of touring for up to five weeks.

"We're playing way too often against the other top South African teams," Plumtree told Rapport.

The Sharks have played one match so far this season and the 18-13 loss to the Bulls has them at the bottom of the South African conference.

Plumtree is concerned that the South African players play against each other with a greater intensity than players from their Sanzar partner countries.

"It wears the players down to play against each other so often. For SANZAR it's obviously fantastic because it boosts revenue.

"Just look at the crowd ," he said, referring to the 46 000-strong Loftus crowd on Friday night.

"You'll never achieve that with the derby games in Australia and New Zealand. "

"The standard of their derbies isn't nearly as intense as ours here in South Africa."

Ironically South African Rugby announced last week that they will send a delegation to SANZAR next month to lobby SANZAR to increase the number of Super Rugby teams from 15 to 16 and to change the format back to the previous one which will ultimately bring back the five week tour to Australia and New Zealand for South African teams.

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