Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has added his name to the list of those within New Zealand Rugby calling for an end to the Super Rugby conference system, as his side stare at an unfavourable trip to this year's play-offs.
As the way things stand, the Hurricanes will face the Chiefs this weekend in the conference format, before facing their compatriots again once the play-offs begin with both sides likely to finish fourth and fifth respectively.
Were the standings to be deemed on meritocracy, the Hurricanes (50 points) and Chiefs (45 points) would finish second and third respectively. Instead, the Waratahs (44 points) and Lions (41 points) occupy those positions due to leading the Australian and South African conferences.
Speaking to media yesterday, Boyd weighed in on the prospect of axing the conference system, returning to a round robin for future iterations of Super Rugby.
"At the end of the day I think most pundits would enjoy a straight round-robin and best-man standing gets the job," he said.
"What that will end up being in time, with Sanzaar, will depend on windows and all sorts of things that are way past my pay scale.
"The vagaries of the competition structure, given the pools, means that potentially both the Hurricanes and the Chiefs will finish higher, or thereabouts, than the Waratahs and Lions but don't enjoy the privilege of getting the home playoff, so that's an interesting feature of the competition."
All Blacks captain Kieran Read has also called for an end to the conference system, earlier this month.
"I like the idea of a full round robin where you play everyone once, but we can't continue with this conference system moving forward," Read said.
"They have to work something out there before expansion. A round robin or something along those lines would be fairer for everyone and result in a better product for the fans who turn up every week."