Waratahs captain and flanker Michael Hooper said on Tuesday he believed Australia could support five teams in Super Rugby.
According to Cheetahs chief executive Harold Verster, a 16-team competition was the consensus reached at SANZAAR’s exco meeting in London at the weekend.
If Verster’s comments are true, it seems the Kings would be dropped from the South African conference and one of the Force, Rebels or Brumbies could lose their Super Rugby status in Australia.
But Hooper feels all his country’s franchises must be retained in the tournament.
“I think Australia can have five teams in the competition,” he said
“I think the Force have come out this year and done some really good things and then they’ve been one, the name that people have been throwing around a lot.
“We want to see five (Australian) teams in the comp.
“As players, we want guys having as much opportunity to wear a Wallaby jersey as possible. So I’m all in favour of having five teams and a competitive five teams at that.”
No decision is expected to be made public for a number of weeks, though the Australian Rugby Union was set to speak with clubs about the meeting and other issues on Tuesday afternoon.