In a Special General Meeting, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) cast a vote on South Africa’s Super Rugby franchises joining the ranks of the current Pro14 competition in the UK and Europe, according to a report in springboks.rugby.
It appears that SA's main Super Rugby franchises, the Sharks, Bulls, Lions and Stormers, will head north to join a new Pro 16 tournament.
The 13 provincial unions of SARU voted today (Tuesday) to determine international participation and competition formats in a COVID-impacted rugby environment.
SA Rugby will now accelerate preliminary conversations with PRO Rugby Championship DAC on SA Rugby’s representation in the competition.
“Our members are excited about the prospect of closer alignment with PRO Rugby Championship and seeking a northern hemisphere future, but we would not have been taking this decision but for actions elsewhere,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
During the meeting, South African domestic rugby formats were determined with the following results:
- SA Cup (working title): All unions (14) will be divided into two pools on historic log standings and contest a single-round competition to identify eight teams for a knockout stage of quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
- Currie Cup: The four mooted PRO Rugby Championship franchises plus the top four non-franchise qualifiers from the SA Cup would contest the Currie Cup Premier Division over a double-round with semi-final and final. The bottom six SA Cup teams contest the Currie Cup First Division in a single-round competition before semi-final and final.
SA Rugby president, Mark Alexander, had the following to say:
“These are extraordinary times, if this had been an ordinary year, we would not have had this meeting,” he said. “But we needed to take radical steps to avoid financial meltdown because of the COVID-19 crisis.”
“We will advise our SANZAAR partners of the General Meeting’s decision,” Roux added. “We remain part of the joint venture and will pursue the ‘Super Series’ discussions in good faith.”
Full story here.