England head coach Eddie Jones believes axing two Australian Super Rugby teams will help improve the standard of the game in that country.
Sanzaar have delayed a decision on Super Rugby’s structure beyond 2017 until March but despite much resisitance to its current 18-team format, the status quo is likely to be retained.
Speaking while on holiday in the country of his birth, the former Wallabies and Japan boss said culling the Western Force and Melbourne Rebels will help to strengthen the Waratahs, Reds and Brumbies.
“The reason Australia wanted to have more than the three Super Rugby teams was to create extra depth so the immediate question that needs to be answered is have those two extra teams strengthened the Wallabies?,” he told Stuff.
“If they have then keep them. If they haven’t then they’ve got to look at whether they should persevere with them or not,” Jones said.
Most decisions in the modern game are influenced by broadcast deals and financial issue are often placed above on-field results. But with several of Australia’s leadinmg players, like Kurtley Beale, Matt Giteau, Will Genia and Adam Ashley-Cooper, plying their trade overseas, Jones feels Australia should be pragmatic about the situation.
“As a coach I don’t get paid to work out the contracts but that’s very much part of the equation,” he added.
“I’ve always said Australia is best to have the three teams and the best players playing with each other. That creates hot competition to get into Super Rugby and adds extra to everything that happens in Australian rugby. The Force and the Rebels have done some good things but I don’t think it’s added considerably to Australian rugby at the moment. They’ve got to really question whether they continue with them.”