The South African Rugby Union is set to launch a bidding process, if their wish for a sixth Super Rugby franchise is not granted.
South Africa’s fifth Super 14 franchise could decided via a bidding process, as was the case in 2006 when the Southern Spears were locked in a dispute for introduction into the Super 14. The Spears ultimately lost out on inclusion but the yet-to-be launched Southern Kings could find themselves in the same position this year.
South Africa are currently negotiating with their SANZAR partners around the identity of the sixth franchise with their toughest opposition coming from Australia, who also wants another franchise.
If South Africa is not awarded the sixth franchise, the Cheetahs – as the lowest ranked South African Super 14 franchise – could be in danger of losing their Super Rugby status.
However, Dr Jan Marais, a director of SA Rugby says the identity of South Africa’s sixth franchise is not the major concern for SA Rugby at this stage of SANZAR negotiations..
“The matter of which local franchises will form part of a bigger Super series is not a concern at the moment, ” Marais told OFM Sport.
“Currently we just want to reach an agreement with New Zealand and Australia on the outlook of this series. It is a priority for South Africa that our teams don’t play any games in June.
“Once we [the Sanzar partners] reach a conclusion on how the system must look, we will start negotiations for the other franchise. We [South Africa] want a sixth franchise and Australia wants a fifth one. Only after we know if we [South Africa] have a sixth franchise, we will start a bidding process for the different South African franchises who want to compete in the Super series.
“We will then award the different South African franchises on the bases of certain criteria. But at the moment it is irrelevant who [of the South African franchises] will form part of the bigger Super series.”
Courtesy of Rugby 365Tweet