SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos says reports of Super Rugby shrinking to 14 teams are mere speculation.

SANZAAR insists shorter Super Rugby format reports are 'speculative'

Reports that Super Rugby will be shortened from 15 to 14 teams have been described as "speculative" by governing body SANZAAR.

The competition controversially shrank from 18 to 15 franchises for the 2018 season with Australian side Western Force and South African duo Cheetahs and Kings all being cut – the latter two joining an expanded Pro14.

Rumours have mounted that from 2021, as part of the next broadcast deal, the format will be altered again to 14 teams and move away from a conference system that has faced criticism.

Japanese franchise Sunwolves are rumoured to be the team that would be lose their place.

But SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos insisted that several options are being explored.

"The recent reports in the media around the next iteration of the Super Rugby tournament are nothing more than speculative," Marinos said via a SANZAAR news release. 

"As a business we are presently looking at our future competition structures from 2021 onwards, a matter that has been widely reported in the media. 

"We have not reached any definitive decisions around our future competition including the number of teams that will participate in the future structure.

"We will continue to engage with our stakeholders, specifically the national unions (Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) and our broadcasters, as we plan ahead for the future and the next broadcast cycle that commences in 2021. 

"If there are any changes to our structure we will communicate this at the appropriate time."

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