Don't blame us for Super Rugby team loss, say Kiwis
NEW Zealand rugby officials have tried to deflect the blame for instigating the cull to Super Rugby.
Three franchises will be cut from the 18-team competition - two of them from South Africa and one from Australia, which is expected to be the Western Force.
Believing Super Rugby had overstretched by its expansion in 2016, New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew said it was a group decision to wield the axe.
"There will be pain and there's going to be a lot more emotive commentary in Australia and it's not unusual for us to get the blame," Tew told Radio Sport.
"We had the figures in front of us, that's what some of the more emotive commentary won't take into account."
While the Kiwi outfits continue to dominate the competition, Tew said viewer numbers in Australia and South Africa had "plummeted" this season.
South Africa will be left with four teams, as will Australia, after having "taken note of reality", Tew said.