South Africa’s answer to an Australasian threat of a Pacific-based competition if the current SANZAR stalemate prevails is that they are ready to ‘go it alone’.
Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Sondag reported that this decision was taken Friday at a special meeting with the five SA Super 14 franchises, SA Rugby, the SA Rugby Players Association and broadcaster Supersport after last week’s meeting of SANZAR in Dubai.
Rugby 365 reports that the outcome of the meeting also means South African officials will not allow their Australasian counterparts to devalue the Currie Cup in any way.
SA Rugby’s acting Managing Director Andy Marinos gave the meeting feedback of what transpired in Dubai, to ensure the South African franchises are properly informed before the SANZAR working committee arrives in South Africa this week to try and thrash out a solution to the impasse.
SANZAR needs to produce a new deal to NewsCorp to renew the television rights for the Super 14 and Tri-Nations series.
Australian Rugby Union boss John O’Neill said this week that the Currie Cup should not be allowed stand in the way of the SANZAR competitions as it was a “second tier competition”.
However, SA Rugby have already sold its television rights for the Currie Cup from 2011 until 2015 and therefore decided that they will not accept any proposal which waters down the Currie Cup in any manner.
The decision also means that South Africa will aggressively follow a policy to ensure the Eastern Cape franchise is the 15th team if the competition decides to expand from 2011.
The newspaper reports that South Africa’s response would be to form their own competition with Argentina, the United States and sides from Scotland and Ireland.
This proposed break-away by the South Africans follow reports that a ‘Pacific competition’ between Australia, New Zealand, the South Sea Islands and Japan be implemented.
However, the suggestion that SA’s winner the winner of the Pacific region was wholeheartedly rejected by the meeting.
With Supersport contributing 65 percent of the broadcasting income for the Super 14 and Tri-Nations tournaments, any withdrawal by South Africa would be catastrophic for Australia and New Zealand.Tweet