Cape Town - The Currie Cup faces the prospect of further change from next year, but Western Province coach John Dobson believes the tradition and history of the tournament must be retained.
Nothing has been confirmed yet, but SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux has already hinted at the possibility of the 2018 edition of the tournament being shortened.
It was not until the 2017 Currie Cup reached the semi-final stage that a tangible interest in the competition could be seen this year, and that much was confirmed by the crowd attendance figures all over the country during the round robin stages.
Scheduling was also a problem in 2017, with sides having to play three games in a week at one stage.
Things were further complicated when the Cheetahs started their PRO14 campaign in September, effectively fielding their 'B team' in the Currie Cup from that point on.
"Maybe we get blinded by those great occasions, like we did last year at Free State Stadium, to think that everything is okay with the Currie Cup," Dobson said after his side beat the Sharks 33-21 in Durban on Saturday night to lift the trophy.
Dobson was referring to the 2016 final where the Cheetahs beat the Blue Bulls to win the Cup having won every match along the way.
"I think the tournament has got some challenges that need addressing.
"I don’t want to say too much. It’s such a great tournament and the passion of the amount of people we met afterwards who had flown or driven up from Cape Town ... it’s a special tournament.
"I think we need to look at the first few weeks of the tournament and how that’s run. It was tough for the Lions with it overlapping with Super Rugby and Wednesday fixtures."
Dobson added that SA Rugby had a responsibility to look at ways of improving the competition.
"Occasions like today and the last few weeks just prove how special the tournament still is and I think South African rugby will be doing a great disservice if we don’t improve this tournament," he said.
"Once tradition goes, it’s gone. We have to fix it before it gets too bad."
Dobson added that the Currie Cup was still a very important tournament in South African rugby.
"In South Africa people all know the importance of the Currie Cup," he said.
"People say they’re building for Super Rugby, but you don’t get away with that. People want to win the Currie Cup. This was our goal and I’m very happy to have achieved it."