SARU keen on 16 Super teams

2012-01-31 18:13

Johannesburg - SA Rugby deputy president Mark Alexander says the national rugby body will lobby for 16 teams to be introduced into Super Rugby.

This follows SARU’s decision on Friday to include the Southern Kings in Super Rugby in 2013 which in essence leaves the current five unions in the dark about their participation in next year’s competition.

The other South African teams in the competition, SARU said, would be confirmed only after proposals from provinces were considered at their annual general meeting in March.

Alexander said - at the announcement of CIB Insurance Administrators as new associate sponsors to the Vodacom Super Rugby competition on Tuesday - that they would be pushing for a sixth South African team in Super Rugby.

"We’ve got the five franchises looking at the model, but first prize we are still lobbying our partners, we want to get a sixth franchise in, we believe it will be good for rugby and we don’t want to see anybody go down," Alexander said.

"The last thing we want to do is to make a choice to push one of the franchises out."

SARU, however, has a challenge on their hands as the current broadcast deal, which allows for 15 teams in the competition according to the conference system - will only be renegotiated in 2016.

Alexander was despite the technicality positive that SARU would be able to lobby its partners at SANZAR with Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula's backing.

"There is a window of opportunity with our partners, we are currently preparing a 16-team schedule so that we can go and debate with them," he said.

"I think our relationship with SANZAR has improved tremendously, we are very close to our partners in Australia and we work very closely with New Zealand and our relationship has changed.

"I think there is a window of opportunity provided we sell a workable solution about sixteen franchises playing in the competition."

Alexander said SARU was well aware of what the consequences would be if one of the current South African teams had to make way for the Kings.

"We understand if one drops out it is very difficult to come back and compete again the following year, it makes it almost impossible," Alexander said.

He said extending the competition to 16 teams would simplify the format. "That would give you 15 games in a round robin stage, one plays four, two plays three in a final and that would reduce the number we currently play," he said.


  • Bulldozer - 2012-01-31 18:24

    Super 15 and the Stormers.

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-01-31 18:50

      Poor Stormers, hahahahahaha

      Thomas - 2012-01-31 22:05

      What criteria can these idiots present to SANZAR for the inclusion of the Kings other than POLITICAL!! They have got nothing for a rugby reason, as in that field the Kings don't actually exist!!! Isn't there a rule in SANZAR that states the country must field it's strongest teams in the Tri-Nations??????? As I have said before, even with Lawrence as a ref the Kings wouldn't win a Promo/ relegation game!!!!!!

      Thomas - 2012-01-31 23:09

      How embarrassing for us SA supporters when our rugby bosses go before SANZAR and beg them to accept the Kings!!! It is like asking the Craven Week organisers to accept Selborne/Dale or Queens's 4th team in the Craven Week!! Wasn't these the same countries that banned us because of political interference in our sport? They are asking their partners to accept third world thinking and lower the standard of the best rugby competition in the world!!! Priceless!!!!!!!

      Van - 2012-02-01 01:11

      Let us petition ANZ to show SARU the finger.

  • adrian.bruwer - 2012-01-31 19:14

    If so, they must change the format. Let the countries have pool play-offs and only the best 2 per country participate in a round-robin to qualify for semis etc. The season is so long and boring already. Now another team is added. Then NZ and Australia are going to cry because they only have 5 teams each and SA 6 teams. Then they'll extend it to 18 teams. How boring can you get? And then you top off a boring Super series with an injury prone Tri-Nations. This does nothing for rugby. It's all about extra games, extra money. Not at all about world class rugby.

  • Werner - 2012-01-31 19:20

    At this rate we'll have a Super 30 in 5 years and the tournament will be played over the span of oh, say 8 or 9 months.

  • Anneleen - 2012-01-31 19:28

    ...ok...if it does happen...the Kings are franchise pushed out...still 15 teams? How is it decided which franchise misses out on the 2013 S15 season?

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-01-31 19:36

      TBC by SARU in March

      Anneleen - 2012-01-31 19:42 this space...certainly hope they can join, without any franchise getting the chop"...especially not the Sharkies...

  • B Wilhelm de Villiers - 2012-01-31 19:40

    More like poor BB

  • coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-01-31 19:41

    When are most of you going to wake up and realise that all this is about the Southern Kings and not the EP Kings? EP Kings are 1/3 of the make up of this team. Border/EP/SWD with a R50 Million sponsor that will attract top stars. Last Saturday a combined Border/SWD team gave the Cheetahs a massive wake up call. This will benefit SA Rugby in the long run and help to bring a large number of black players through the system the EC is a massive rugby region and I can see them being a force in 3-5 years watch this space

      Leon - 2012-01-31 20:22

      luke the puke can do it on his own bring the puke mm cup home boys

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-31 20:24

      What will happen is this: 1. The Kings will join the SuperRugby in 2013 regardless of 15 or 16 teams, regardless of merit. 2. The Kings, unlike ANY OTHER franchise, will get massive government support, including discounted Test match fees, as has happened already. Each franchise has to pay between 4 - million for Test rights, except the Kings, who, to this date, SARU refuses to disclose what they paid for their test 3. It's politics, pure and simple, either you are in their camp or you are to naive to know this. By the way, each small Union gets a subsidy to survive, the large Unions take an amount, surprisingly the Sharks take nothing at all, but that is their choice. What is funny about that is that the small Unions get to tell the large ones what to do. Hilarious, if you live in a fishbowl. It doesn't matter how well the EC does, it will all be built on smoke and mirrors and backed by a subsidy paid for my the contenders. I sincerely hope in 2013 the Kings get a massive hiding in every game, then we can compare. Beyond that, I hope they stop getting the massive subsidies that they already get, so that they can compete fair and square. Put it this way, if I want to be an actor, do I stay in KZN and ask the government for a film industry, or do I move to Hollywood?

  • Marcelo - 2012-01-31 20:15

    Now that the Pumas have been drafted into the Four Nations this year, the next step according to Mark Alexander who had said that he would push for the Argentinian Rugby Association to include a franchise into the Super 14 Competition and possibly more in the near future in order for Argentinian rugby to grow. But then I reckon it would be too much rugby for the players of the Four Nations.

  • sean.looney - 2012-01-31 20:21

    if saru insist on going down this road with the southern kings then the cheetahs and the lions should be merged back together again as both are clearly our weakest and most poorly supported franchises.

      Dawie - 2012-01-31 21:06

      Nope the Bulls and Cheetahs will merge !!!

  • Dawie - 2012-01-31 21:00

    SARU already making provision for the poor Bulls before they are relegated and fal out . Check the Kings slaughter them this weekend - like last year - Luke Puke will be there !!! More a case of Super 15 and the Bulls one might say !!!

      Bulldozer - 2012-01-31 21:06

      No Super cups for your team. Ever.

      duane.vanvuuren - 2012-02-01 08:32

      Dawie, I'm a staunch Stormers supporter, but that comment just sounds like sour grapes if you were to ask me, mate. The Bulls have won three Super Rugby titles. The Kings have won how many Currie Cup Premier Divisions titles in the last decade? Oh wait, make that Currie Cup First Division or Vodacom Cup titles?

  • Sebastian - 2012-01-31 21:00

    If anyone has watched the Varsity Cup competition and seen some of the EP talent in the NMMU and Fort Hare teams you would understand the benefit of promoting the talent in this region. i am all for the Southern Kings moving up to Super Rugby. They will struggle at first but will blood a lot of talent which will be of benefit to SA Rugby. I don't however think that their move up should be at the expense of one of the other SA franchises. Surely SARU should have convinced SANZAR to expand to 16 teams BEFORE telling the Southern Kings they would play in 2013? This would have avoided the current precarious situation which could harm SA Rugby.

      Sean - 2012-01-31 22:32

      Lets not rush things here , big diff between varsity cup and super 15 ! Let the youngsters play currie cup first and nurse them slowly !!

  • Duane van Vuuren - 2012-01-31 22:28

    Silly! With or without the Kings in Super Rugby there is already way too much rugby being played. A 16 team comp is surely going to burn out the players. We hear of "squad rotation being key", but wouldn't it be better viewing to see fewer games and have all the top players playing at their best in those games?

  • Patrick - 2012-01-31 23:18

    cheetahs and lions hav been useless for years now???(and if any1 sez any differant, jus go read the stats, NO wait, let me do that for u= the lions AND cheetahs havent even made the top half of the log in like over TEN years???FACT!!!) and now they want another team???

      Jack - 2012-01-31 23:48

      I agree. Use the promotion relegation system after this years super 15. Kings play the worst current franchise and winner goes through. easy as that.

  • Waldo - 2012-01-31 23:55

    I WILL VOTE CRUSADERS AND ALL BLACKS IF YOU KICK MY TEAM OUT OF SUPER RUGBY CHOOSE YOUR NEXT STEP WISELY... I am not the only fan that feels like this we will have an ALL BLACK stadium in 2013

      Sipho D Kilani - 2012-02-01 02:51

      Pease stop lying just like you always say if you are migrating to Australia. You will continue to support and you are not going to be an All Black and besides the All Blacks are not looking for Afrikaaners who are backward in thinking and have no patriotism.

      Marcell - 2012-02-01 09:28

      Sipho: NZ has no time for Africans, the non white one's.

      Patrick - 2012-02-01 12:32

      @marcell, and why should they???

  • Guy - 2012-02-01 08:00

    The Lions haven't been higher than 11th position in the last 10 years, and have often taken the wooden spoon home. Loosing key players this year like Jano Vermaak, Rory Kockott and Andre Pretorius doesn't bode well for this season either, and you can't argue that they're in a building phase because they've already won a Super 10. Automatic relegation would've gotten rid of them years ago - kick 'em out - WELCOME KINGS!

  • Leslie - 2012-02-01 13:14

    One of these days we will be watching the super 100 the way things is going i say leave the kings

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