Rugby

Pumas want Super Rugby spot

2014-09-16 12:03
Giant Mtyanda (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - It may sound far-fetched, but the Pumas want to become one of the six South African Super Rugby franchises.

The Super Rugby competition will be expanded to 18 teams from 2016. The Kings and a team from Argentina are already assured of a spot, while the 18th team will come from either Japan or Singapore.

According to the SA Rugbymag website, the Pumas were keen to be that 18th team, but had their approach rejected by SANZAR.

Given the fact that the Kings are assured of their place, the only other route for the Pumas to go would be for them to try and displace one of the five existing franchises.

Pumas president Hein Mentz spoke to SA Rugbymag on their desire to realise their dream.

Mentz said there's "no reason" why a Super Rugby franchsie won't work in Nelspruit. He also pointed to their top-notch facilities and a new academy, while insisting they "don't want to continue to be a feeder union".

The SA Rugby Union (SARU) currently selects the SA franchises to compete in Super Rugby, made up of senior and junior partners. The Pumas are junior partners with the Lions in the current model, but Mentz believes the current status quo unfairly favours the big unions.

He called on SARU to relook their financial business plan when it comes to the distribution of SANZAR funds to the South African franchises. Mentz said there are no current guidelines set up by SARU as to how future Super Rugby franchises will be selected.

Following a dominant 2013 in which they won the Currie Cup First Division, the Pumas returned to the Premier Division this year and are doing well, sitting third on the overall log with four wins from six outings.

Read more on:    pumas  |  super 15  |  rugby
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