Ackermann: Why not axe Jaguares and Sunwolves?
Johannesburg - Lions coach Johan Ackermann feels sorry for the Cheetahs and Southern Kings who were forced out of Super Rugby.
The southern hemisphere competition will be reduced from 18 to 15 teams from next year, with two South African teams and one from Australia to be omitted.
Ackermann, whose Lions side finished top of the regular season standings, spoke about the issue this week as they prepare for a quarter-final against the Sharks.
“It’s a sad day for those two unions. They’ve played some quality rugby, especially the Kings who have had some tremendous wins this year. There are quality players...” Ackermann said.
If Ackermann had any say in the decision, then Argentina’s Jaguares and Japan’s Sunwolves would have been axed.
“Maybe we should have just gone back to the old way and cut the Argentinian and the Japan side out. Why must they get a freebie after only one or two seasons? That’s just my view, maybe I’m biased towards the South African teams,” Ackermann said.
Ackermann though welcomed the prospect of the Cheetahs and Kings joining the Pro12 competition in Europe.
“At least SA Rugby went and made sure that the Cheetahs and Kings can play in a quality competition - the Pro12. That can be massive for them as players."