Hairbrained suggestion but one that might save rugby in the Southern Hemisphere. Forget South Africa, Australia, Argentina as rugby powerhouses, it's not working. Let's create a Super Competition in our shores with similar make up of say the EPL (UK). New Zealand has the infrastructure to host a very competitive NZEPL (NZ Elite Premier League).
How I see it.
1. Competition (NZEPL) follows the Mitre 10 Cup (played from March to June.)
2. There are 12 teams in this NZEPL.
a. Taniwhas - Northland and North Harbour
b. Auckland Blues - Auckland only
c. Chiefs - Waikato and Counties Manukau
d. BOP Geysers - Rotorua and Tauranga
e. Taranaki Ferdinands - King Country, Taranaki
f. Central Vulcans - Taupo, Whanganui, Manawatu
g. The East Costers - Ngati Porou, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay
h. Hurricanes - Wairarapa, Horowhenua, Kapiti Coast, Wellington.
i. Makos - Tasman, North Canterbury, West Coast,
j. Crusaders - Christchurch, Mid and South Canterbury
k. Highlanders - North Otago, Otago, and Southland
l - PI Panthers - Tonga, Samoa and Fiji
3. The beauty of this competition is that it's based on the EPL, teams already exist in some format and you have to introduce a roster for all teams that have this format as I see it. Lets say all teams have a wider Squad of 30. There have to be 18 NZ players on contract, with the remaining 12 being contracted during the summer contract period from Aus, SA, Arg, and Jap players. The PI Panthers will also fill places from without.
4. The competition would be a single round of games with the top five going through to a Grand Final series. No Bonus Points - winner takes all and if tied scores, Points Differential and previous results.
Yeah hairbrained but SuperRugby is dead in it's tracks. And a top flight competition that has less rather than more is an option.
Foreign players - 144
NZ Resident - 216
11 weeks round robin with 3 weeks of finals ergo 3 months of NZEPL Rugby.
I like the idea especially if you also introduce transfer windows and fees. And the other international competitions can run concurrently and be a feeder to cover injury. Plus the revenue for the competition is solely NZRU managed with a fee applied to those countries that feed into NZEPL. We also have Sky as the Main (and named) broadcaster.
New Zealand can sustain this proposal Rugby is strong here and with foresight can be even stronger.
Oh and yeah, the Quad Nations competition runs after the NZEPL with the June International games still being held.