Super Rugby

SA rugby officials to meet with SANZAR

SA rugby officials to meet with SANZAR

REPRESENTATIVES FROM South Africa’s Super Rugby franchises will accompany delegates from the national union to present their competition expansion case to their SANZAR partners next month.

South Africa is pushing for the competition to increase to 16 teams after confirming the Southern Kings will take part in it next year.

A failure to see the competition expanded means the South African Rugby Union will have to cull one of its five existing teams – the Stormers, Sharks, Bulls, Cheetahs and Lions – to make way for the Kings, which will have serious ramifications and cause plenty of tension in the Republic.

The delegation will visit their counterparts in New Zealand and Australia in mid-March.

Competition expansion seems unlikely, though, as commercial arrangements with broadcasters have locked in a 15-team format until December 31, 2015.

SARU chief executive Jurie Roux, however, remains confident an agreement can be reached.

“We had a very good conversation on the future where we discussed the options on achieving a solution that is in the interest of South African and southern hemisphere rugby,” he says.

“We would like to workshop our position with our SANZAR colleagues and have included representatives of our franchises to underline the seriousness of our appeal.”

The South African delegation will include Brand de Villiers (Bulls), Kevin de Klerk (Lions), Cheeky Watson (Southern Kings), Brian van Zyl (Sharks), SARU president Oregan Hoskins, deputy president Mark Alexander and Roux.

The delegation departs on March 17.

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