Watson fumes at minnow teams
Cheeky Watson (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Eastern Province Rugby Union president, Cheeky Watson, is upset at the country's smaller provincial unions who voted against an expanding Currie Cup.
The proposal to expand the Currie Cup Premier Division from six teams to eight next year was not passed
during a special general meeting held in Johannesburg on Monday.
The proposal, which was tabled with SARU at the end of the Super Rugby season, was initially presented to the unions at a special general meeting held on September 19, but the vote was delayed until the 30th for further consideration.
While the final vote was in favour of the amended structure of the competition, with a 19/10 split, the motion didn’t carry because it required a 75% majority vote.
Watson, in an interview with the SA Rugbymag website
, said five smaller provincial unions voted against the proposal to expand the Currie Cup.
Watson said Boland, Border, SWD, Leopards and Falcons voted against the expansion which would have seen the Pumas and EP join the top flight next year.
Watson was particularly upset at SWD and Border, who are franchise partners to the Kings.
"It shows the problem with the franchise system in South African rugby. Franchise partners add no value. No one knows why they voted that way. Everyone was flabbergasted. There was no reasoning behind their decision," said Watson.
The Pumas - who finished first on the First Division log this year, will take on the last-placed team in the Premier Division (likely to be Griquas) in promotion-relegation matches to try gain promotion to the top flight next year.
Watson also confirmed that Kings will now go ahead and play Super Rugby promotion-relegation games against the last-placed South African Super Rugby team next year.
The Kings were prepared to stay out of Super Rugby for the next two years, provided they gain access to the Currie Cup Premier Division, but with those plans now off the map, they will shift their focus on returning to Super Rugby.