All Blacks head coach Ian Foster believes the lack of South African teams in Super Rugby has adversely impacted the New Zealand game.
South Africa’s four powerhouses, the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers, now compete with northern hemisphere sides in the United Rugby Championship, having last played in Super Rugby before the Covid-19 pandemic put sport on hold in March 2020.
“I think we’ve definitely missed playing South Africa in Super Rugby,” Foster told Stuff.
“Just the sheer size of the players, and the fact that maybe they don’t allow you to play as much rugby as you want to play.”
The New Zealanders have played in their local Super Rugby Aotearoa and a Trans-Tasman tournament with Australia. Next year, there will be the addition of two Pacific Island franchises, Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua, in the new-look Super Rugby Pacific competition.
“Reviewing is a multifaceted thing and everyone will find different ways to do it,” Foster added as he reflected on the season.
“For us, we do a review every week. We get used to having pretty tough conversations with each other after Test matches and after training sessions.
“I think the challenge when you review is to make sure it doesn’t turn into a judgment from one group to the other.”