SA Rugby cannot sustain 6 franchises - Roux
Cape Town - From a financial point of view, SA Rugby cannot sustain six franchises in Super Rugby, the nation rugby governing body’s CEO Jurie Roux has said.
Roux was speaking following the announcement that the number of teams participating in Super Rugby will be reduced.
SANZAAR confirmed at the weekend that the tournament will be reduced from 18 to 15 teams from next year, with South Africa losing two teams and Australia one.
“We are now at a time where the economic reality of this country, the rugby economic reality of this country say we cannot sustain six franchises,” Roux told SuperSport on Wednesday. “The player economic reality says we can’t. Everybody can say what they want, look at the results and you’ll know that we can’t.”
Roux assured rugby fans that a lot of decision making took place prior to the announcement.
“This is not a decision that was taken in half an hour. We embarked on a strategic process for Super Rugby as a whole, up until 2028,” he continued in his interview with the pay channel.
“One thing we realised is that the competition is confusing, it lacks integrity, not everybody is playing everybody so you’ve got this mixture of Australian and New Zealand sides - and that was not a compelling product.
“So, on the back-end of that and on the back-end of broadcasters telling us that they’re not happy with the product and that they want immediate change - or else we will have some contractual issues going forward - we had no choice but to look at (changing) the competition earlier than what we wanted to.”
Roux admitted that the tournament should never have been expanded to 18 teams.
“The ultimate competition probably was Super 12 and to be honest we should have probably never moved from it, but there were different reasons,” Roux said.
“Over a 10, 11 year period, every union has got different reasons why they’re doing it. Some of them are doing it just through selfishness, some had a clear mandate from their union in terms of their high performance and the direction they wanted to go in, some of them was political and some of them due to revenue.
“I’m sad to say that a lot of it was due to driven revenue and there were some political decisions that drove the process. But it has ended up being a competition that if we don’t change it we will have serious issues.”