The head coach of the All Blacks, Ian Foster, believes that the lack of South African teams in the Super Rugby has had an adverse impact on the game of New Zealand.
The four franchises of South Africa (Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers), now compete with their northern hemisphere peers in the United Rugby Championship, having last played in Super Rugby before the Covid-19 pandemic put the sport on hold in March 2020.
“I think we definitely miss playing with the South African teams in Super Rugby.”Foster told Stuff when addressing the issue, adding: “Both because of the size of the players and the fact that they may not allow you to play as much rugby as you want.”
The New Zealanders have played in their local Super Rugby Aotearoa and a Trans-Tasman tournament with Australia. Next year, there will be two franchises from the Pacific Islands, Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua, in the new competition called Super Rugby Pacific.
Despite the All Blacks winning 12 of 15 games in 2021, back-to-back defeats against Ireland and France leave the Kiwis finishing the season second in the World Rugby rankings, behind the Springboks.