The five existing South African Super Rugby franchises met with SARU yesterday in a bid to make some progress related to the Kings situation; seemingly, then failed to come up with any sensible ideas, so rather opted to arrange a joint holiday to Australia, aptly kicking off on St Patrick’s Day.
I say apt, because the ill-fated trip on which these fine gentlemen (that is to say, SARU’s honcho trio of Jurie Roux, Mark Alexander and Regan Hoskins, along with representatives from several of the franchises) will embark can surely serve no other purpose than affording the participants the opportunity to go on a jolly overseas trip. The purported purpose of the exercise, namely to “put the case for Super Rugby expansion to their SANZAR partners” has surely got to be a joke. After all, how many more times can SANZAR’s Greg Peters explain that, even if there were an appetite in either Australia or New Zealand to accommodate a sixth South African team (there isn’t) it would be commercially and legally impossible to renege on broadcasting agreement that all three unions, including SARU, signed just 18 months ago.
Super Rugby will stay as a 15-team tournament until 2016 and SARU will need to find a way to accommodate the Kings without relying on expansion to save their bacon. This much is clear; rather, this much is clear to everyone apart from SARU, who seem incapable of either understanding or admitting this very clear point of fact.
It’s time for someone within the ruling body to stand up and show some balls here. We’re all expecting a firm announcement on the future structure of the South African conference to be made on 31 March, by which stage the fate of one of the existing teams may well already be sealed should they start poorly in the competition which will by that stage be into its fifth round. Is it really too much to ask for all parties to work harder to come to an arrangement that doesn’t involve wasting time flying halfway around the world for no sensible reason? Or perhaps more pertinently, since none of the existing franchises would ever back their own demotion, is it too much to ask for SARU to simply make a decision, announce it, enforce it and bear whatever consequences result?
Thought it might be… make mine a Guinness lads! Whaahey!Tweet