More expansion for Investec Super Rugby?
An expanded 18-team Investec Super Rugby tournament including at least one team from Argentina is being considered for 2016, Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver has revealed.
"We're trying to keep a very open mind to what this structure looks like," Pulver said.
"I think the advent of Super Rugby over the last 18 years has been a wonderful development for rugby in the southern hemisphere and we want to continue to keep improving it.
"So one of the options we're looking at is what is the perfect mix of teams and countries being represented, and part of that clearly is Argentina.
"They have been a wonderful addition to the Rugby Championship and they would be very enthusiastic about finding a way of getting into Super Rugby as well."
With South Africa desperate to have a sixth team included, expansion is all but guaranteed.
"It has been reported that there are some moves afoot within Africa for the six teams to compete," Pulver said.
"The Kings have actually lost their position in the competition for next year so the Lions will be back and clearly that creates some issues in South African rugby.
"So there is some demand at their level to have six African teams beyond 2016.
"That could clearly have implications for the structure of the competition, so we're working very closely at a SANZAR level to resolve that for 2016."
He said the ARU is yet to finalise its position on the ideal number of teams but says reducing the number of Australian franchises from five to four is not an option.
"We're working through that, I mean clearly if you assume six teams from Africa and maybe if Super 15 Rugby was to go to something like Super 17 or Super 18, that's one model we're looking at," he said.
"There are some other models that include different structures from the African side and the Australasian side, but they're all in development.
"No decisions have been made at this point. We're really targeting to have a clear position on that by the end of the year."
Meanwhile, Pulver remains hopeful the annual window for mid-year inbound Tests will be moved from June to July.
"I am very enthusiastic about the possibility of that change," he said.
"Having the inbound Test series take place in June is really quite inconvenient from a Super Rugby perspective.
"To break the (Super Rugby) competition for a month, particularly for those teams not in the finals series, is very disruptive.
"So the momentum that is building around that is a very, very encouraging sign.
"So potentially, if you could shift those inbound Test matches into July, you could finish the Super Rugby season in advance of those and have a really clean structure for the competitions."