- Four South African rugby franchises look set to be included in an expanded PRO16 tournament.
- This comes after a report indicated that SA Rugby was planning on reducing the number of its franchises.
- South Africa is unlikely to form part of Super Rugby in future.
It’s looking increasingly likely that four South African franchises will be included in an expanded PRO16 event in Europe.
Afrikaans newspaper Rapportindicated on Sunday that SA Rugby was also looking to reduce the number of franchises currently involved in tournaments from six to four.
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The report stated that there was also a second proposal to reduce the number of franchises to five.
In this scenario, the governing body would have to find a competition for the fifth franchise as South Africa looks unlikely to form part of Super Rugby in future, with rumours surfacing that New Zealand and Australia could play a trans-Tasman Super Rugby event excluding South Africa.
It appears that the country’s four Super Rugby outfits – Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers – could get preference to play in the PRO16, with the futures of the Cheetahs and Southern Kings uncertain. Griquas and the Pumas also have franchise status, but are yet to play in a franchise tournament.
The report added that a proposal for the four semi-finalists from a full-strength Currie Cup qualifying for the PRO16 was not on the cards.
SA Rugby’s executive council will meet on Wednesday, during which the proposals will be further refined before being presented to the general council on Friday.
A vote on the issue will only be taken at a general council meeting in September.
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– Compiled by Sport24 staff