@NTA This makes perfect sense from a Kiwi perspective but little to none from an Australian perspective.
Many Australian fans at this stage want to ditch SR altogether and start from scratch (verging on a majority). So any proposed TT comp is already starting at a low base of support. We are then required to cut two teams (presumably excluding Twiggy's Force over cutting one of the more traditional franchises) to be allowed to participate in what will effectively be an exercise in All Black production. I'm failing to see the incentive.
Most people argue that one of the biggest contributing factors to the decline of SR in Aus is the lack of local derbies/home games and local content. A 5/3 split will represent a marginal improvement over the current format - but will cut 2/5ths of the Australian market from the comp. A poor trade off.
It's no sure thing that cutting two teams will magically make the other three stronger, either. Plenty of players will simply leave for Japan or Europe and the financial and marketing damage done in the process would, in my opinion, be a terminal move for the remaining Australian teams - before a ball is even kicked.
The inconsistency of suggesting that we must cut two teams but the comp must also include a PI team is also pretty frustrating. What are the odds of a PI team (after the majority of the funds get siphoned off by the likes of Killer Keane) actually being competitive?
Finally, Twiggy has regularly expressed an interest in pumping considerable investment into a competition with a single management body that is run in it's own interests (rather than being primarily run for the purposes of Wallaby and AB production). There have also been expressions of interest from PE firms in the US. McLellan has expressed an interest in releasing control of the second tier of Australian rugby to private equity. Given the rather enormous trade-offs involved in us participating in an 8 (or 9) team TT comp - why wouldn't we pursue this option?
Word is a NZ only comp is not financially viable so i don't get why a string of senior NZ figures are trying to strong arm Aus into a format that makes absolutely no sense to them?