SANZAAR are considering reverting back to a 14-team Super Rugby competition and doing away with the tournament’s conference system from 2021.
According to a Sydney Morning Herald report, the Sunwolves are the team in the firing line as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina battle to reach consensus about a tournament format which suits all unions.
The Sunwolves are entering their fourth season of Super Rugby. They have won just six matches in their history, finishing the 2018 competition bottom of the overall table.
That leaves the Tokyo-based franchise at risk of being axed from Super Rugby unless another South African team follows in the footsteps of the Cheetahs and Kings, who were axed from the tournament to join the PRO14.
A 14-team Super Rugby competition, would potentially allow for a round-robin competition structure, as opposed to the controversial conference system which is currently being used.
Under the conference system teams can go through the entire season without facing certain opposition.
Argentina’s Jaguares joined Super Rugby along with the Sunwolves in 2016 but unlike the men from Tokyo, they have shown steady improvement and made the play-offs in 2018 after finishing in seventh position on the overall standings.
As a full member of the SANZAAR, Argentina are also considered an integral part of the Rugby Championship which means the Jaguares are set to stay in Super Rugby.