SA can forget six Super teams
Cape Town - SANZAR CEO Greg Peters says it's highly unlikely that the format of the Super Rugby tournament will be changed in the near future.
This means that the South African Rugby Union (SARU) can most likely forget about the possibility of six teams representing South Africa in next year's Super Rugby tournament.
The Southern Kings have been guaranteed a place in next year's tournament, which means one team would have to drop out.
This prompted SARU to try and convince SANZAR to expand the tournament.
A delegation was formed during a meeting between SARU’s leadership and franchises in February to argue for the expansion of the Super Rugby competition to 16 teams to accommodate all six South African franchises, including the Kings.
SARU and its delegation were due to have a meeting with SANZAR partners, Australia and New Zealand, to discuss a possible expansion of the competition. But SARU asked for more time to try to build its case.
However, Peters told Die Burger SARU is yet to approach them.
"South Africa asked for a postponement (of the meeting with its SANZAR partners) so that they could look at possible alternatives for the structure. That's the last we've heard from them.
"We were informed that the Kings will play in the tournament next year. But a structural change is highly unlikely," said Peters.
SANZAR views the current format as successful.
SANZAR's stance was always that the format will be marketed as one with three groups with an equal amount of teams in it. It should stay like that until 31 December 2015.
"It's too early to consider a change to a format that's currently successful.
"There's also not enough time to consider a change in the format for next year. It’s a big discussion to have when the new structure is only 18 months old. We did, however, say that we'll be prepared to listen to any realistic and constructive plans that South Africa has," said Peters.
Peters also said SANZAR is eager for the issue to be resolved.
"It will take big planning even to include the Kings. It is fine for one team to replace another and that's what we expect will happen because only five South African teams can play," said Peters.