Staniforth says Super 14 needs to expand - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Staniforth says Super 14 needs to expand

By Justin Chadwick 31/07/2008 06:38:39 PM Comments (0)

Western Force utility back Scott Staniforth has warned SANZAR to expand the Super 14 competition quickly or risk losing more players to the lucrative European leagues.

In the wake of Kiwi star Sonny Bill Williams' shock decision to walk out on the NRL to join French rugby union side Toulon - and as more and more Super 14 players defect to Europe - Staniforth said the exodus of players from the southern hemisphere would only increase unless a longer Super 14 format was implemented.

The current Super 14 season features just 13 home-and-away fixtures but Staniforth said that wasn't enough for players not in international ranks.

SANZAR has proposed to expand the Super 14 playoffs from four to six teams from next season as the first step towards growing the competition.

"There's just not enough footy for players here," said Staniforth, who has two brothers playing rugby in France.

"I suppose with more footy (comes) more revenue (and) players can get paid more - that's the case in Europe.

"They've got 30 games and they can afford to pay bigger wages and a lot of players are starting to go over there because of that.

"It used to be older players going across there, now I think guys might go across there, get a bit more experience and come back.

"So if we can get more footy here we'll be able to keep more players here.

"Until we get that then I'm afraid the European pound and euro might hurt us."

Staniforth said the demise of the Australian Rugby Championship had left a gaping hole in the rugby calender.

With no ARC to fall back on, the Force have turned overseas to keep their players in tip-top shape over the off-season.

The Force leave Perth on Friday for a five-week tour of the UK, where they will face off against Guinness Premiership sides Newcastle Falcons, Saracens, Leicester and Northampton plus two regional academy sides.

"As players you want to be playing football ... if you miss out on the Wallabies stuff you haven't got enough footy to play," Staniforth said.

"It's something missing in Australian rugby.

"The ARC was great for us last year and the players really enjoyed it and it's a shame it's not there this year so we've had to go overseas and try to find some games."

Staniforth, whose chances of breaking into Robbie Deans' new-look Wallabies outfit was dashed by a knee injury during the Super 14 season, said he would use the UK tour to play himself back into the Wallabies picture.

"For myself it's to get some footy and trying to get on the end of season Wallaby tour," he said.

Force back rower Tamaiti Horua said he was looking forward to taking on Jonny Wilkinson's Falcons at Kingston Park on August 8.

"It would be good to see how much taller I am than him, and see if I can get a shot off," Horua said with a laugh.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news