SA Rugby: Our future is with SANZAAR

    2017-04-11 14:21

    Cape Town - As SA Rugby plots the way forward and looks to identify the two franchises who will miss out on Super Rugby next year, it does so with a renewed commitment to SANZAAR. 


    The decision was taken on Sunday that next year's Super Rugby will see South Africa lose two sides and Australia one as the competition returns to a three-conference, 15-team tournament. 

    As the decision loomed, there were suggestions that SA Rugby was considering taking its business up north, cutting ties with SANZAAR and exploring other options to join in the European leagues. 

    It was a line of thinking that was certainly out of the box, but it was also one that was considered to have abundant financial potential. 

    But, even after getting the worst of the decision on Sunday, SA Rugby has pledged its commitment to SANZAAR in explaining why it never considered bailing out of Super Rugby. 

    Any such move could only have taken place once the current broadcast deal expired in 2020, but it looks like it was a far-fetched idea now. 

    "First of all you need a willing opponent and secondly you need a suitable window. Neither of those are currently in place or are likely to be in the short term," SA Rugby said in a statement.

    "But SA Rugby has also taken a strategic decision that our future lies with SANZAAR - we may not be in the same time zone but we are in the same playing season and rugby cultural zone.

    "SANZAAR competitions are the best in the world and if we want the Springboks to be the best team in the world - which we do - then we have to play and excel in SANZAAR competitions."

    SA Rugby also thinks the decision to cut back on teams will lead to a stronger national side.

    "It’ll mean he’ll (Springbok coach) be choosing a Bok squad from a smaller, more competitive and hopefully more successful pool of about 160 players (rather than 240) - that should be enough," the statement read.

    "Springboks are made in schools and in this professional era the best of them are picked up by the major provinces before they have even left. That won’t change, it’ll just mean the competition is even more intense and the standards for success will be set higher."

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