Franchises, SARU to team up

2012-02-23 19:00

Cape Town - Representatives of the South African Super Rugby franchises will accompany the delegates of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) to present a case for competition expansion in 2013 to SANZAR partners next month.

Representatives of the Bulls, Lions, Southern Kings, and the Sharks will accompany SARU’s SANZAR representatives on visits to their counterparts in New Zealand and Australia in mid-March.

The delegation was formulated during a meeting between SARU’s leadership and franchises in Johannesburg on Thursday. SARU will argue for the expansion of the competition to 16 teams to accommodate all six of our South Africa’s franchises.

“We had a very good conversation on the future where we discussed the options on achieving a solution that is in the interest of South African and southern hemisphere rugby,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.

“We would like to workshop our position with our SANZAR colleagues and have included representatives of our franchises to underline the seriousness of our appeal.”

The South African delegation will include Brand de Villiers (Bulls), Kevin de Klerk (Lions), Cheeky Watson (Southern Kings) and Brian van Zyl (Sharks). They will accompany SARU president Oregan Hoskins, deputy president Mark Alexander and Roux.

The delegation departs on March 17.


  • coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 19:15

    SANZAR wont budge until 2015 5/5/6 just does not work and I dont think SA has enough depth for 6 teams Super rugby seasons are getting longer and longer and all squads will need to grow by 25% in the next year or 2 SARU needs to learn what forward planning is all about and not only worry about how much money can be made..

      Thomas - 2012-02-23 20:50

      You are right SANZAR won't budge, and why should they??? It doesn't matter even if you had a Prom/ relegation system in place, or any other system the Kings still wouldn't qualify!!! The other SANZAR members see this for what it is, and realise it is not a positive move for the tournement!!!

      Noudieblou - 2012-02-23 21:31

      @Thomas The Kings will qualify for sure if there's a prom/releg. They only have to beat the Stormers then, not exactly the team of the decade.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-02-24 08:00

      It's getting so tired all these 'supporters' hammering the Stormers/Bulls/Sharks whoever they choose to berate with their petty comments. Bleh

  • John - 2012-02-23 19:28

    They have to give it a go....besides most of the rugby money is coming from Supersport so the bottom line is that they should not be bullied......

      Bulldozer - 2012-02-23 21:46

      What a stupid comment.

      hannesenbrianda - 2012-02-24 02:31

      SANZAR should protect the integrity and value of the tournament from SA political influnces and say NO until the Kings are able to put a competitive team on the field.

      Kevin - 2012-02-24 09:27

      Agreed Hannes, once again this is political interference as you know "Puke Watsons" father Cheeky is at the Kings. His ANC buddies/cadres/idiots will do anything to help old Cheeky out. The only way they should be allowed in is by first getting into the Currie Cup and then finishing in the top 5. I am so sick of these ANC b&sta*d$ interfering in SA sport.

  • J.D. - 2012-02-23 19:46

    Come on we have already and overdose of Rugby. Stop milking the money cow !!!

  • Johan - 2012-02-23 20:06

    Cheeky Watson is bad news!

      Kevin - 2012-02-24 09:30

      He is a D@@$ and needs to be shunned in rugby circles. All he does is make trouble with the help of his 'no nothing' ANC cadres.

  • Noudieblou - 2012-02-23 20:38

    It will be better to keep it to 15 teams. Then we don't have the Stormers in next years competition. Go die Kings!

      myst.rackermann - 2012-02-23 21:29

      You are truly funny matey LOL - ha ha ha - typical Pretoria mentality....!

      myst.rackermann - 2012-02-24 07:37

      Lol. Precisely the reaction I was looking for. That was the whole idea, mate. Also, you know your rugby? Ppffft. You assumed just because I'm a woman, I don't know my rugby... right. Typical. Enjoy your pink jersey!! :)) P/S: You probably sleep in your pink jersey every night, hey! :D

      str4f3 - 2012-02-24 08:41

      I have no objection to the stormers playing the kings in a 'relagation' match. It will simply prove how far behind the pace the kings really are. The kings should play the other teams too, and can take the place of anyone they beat.

      Noudieblou - 2012-02-24 14:17

      @myst I'm sure you know your rugby, probably better than baking even. I just ordered my pink jersey, just 3 more sleeps before I get it, can't wait.

      myst.rackermann - 2012-02-24 16:18

      Oh. You swing that way, I see. That answers it all :))

      Noudieblou - 2012-02-24 17:00

      @myst LOL. Can i get you one too?

  • Emile - 2012-02-23 22:23

    Doesn't matter what they decide - if the Kings play, the SA Teams will get the short end. The Kings will be the whipping boys for the AUS/NZ teams and they will pocket bonus points in every game. Playing the Kings in SA will feel like a home game to the NZ/AUS teams.

      Sedick - 2012-02-24 00:02

      Playing Devil's advocate....The Kings will be the whipping boys, the same as the Lions and Cheetahs have been over the last 10 years? And let's not forget the Bulls run before they won the S15.......some stats : Most consecutive losses in a season: 13 losses – Lions, 2010 Most consecutive losses: 17 losses – Lions, 15 May 2009 to 12 March 2011 Fewest wins in a season: 0 wins – Bulls, 2002, Lions, 2010 Most points conceded in a season: 585 – Lions, 2010 Largest points difference conceded in a season: 315 – Lions, 2010

      Sedick - 2012-02-24 09:31

      @dieBlou. Winning the cup 3 times does not expunge previous stats does it? Stats are stats, and will be there for all time. The bad (part of the) record of the Bulls will also not expunge their 3 great wins, so not sure what your point is?

      Noudieblou - 2012-02-24 14:20

      @Sedick My point: Federer has lost in the first round of Wimbledon but went on to win it 5 times.(Most of anyone) Lleyton Hewitt never lost in the 1st round but never won Wimbledon. Who is the better player? (Just the answer please, no essays)

  • Anneck - 2012-02-24 00:38

    Suggestion: Have the Sharks, Stormers, Bulls, Lions, Cheetahs and... Kings compete against each other for the Currie Cup. Team that comes last misses out on the Super 15 the following year.

      Noudieblou - 2012-02-24 01:14

      @Anneck Even easier: Just drop the Stormers, they've been unable to win a single trophy in 18 years of Super rugby. What a disgrace

      hannesenbrianda - 2012-02-24 02:34

      @Noudieblou shows why people outside South Africa dislike this type of Blue Bull supporter; arrogant, narrow minded and stupid.

      Marius - 2012-02-24 07:48

      Not a bad idea, but the only problem is that the playing fields are not level. 5 Massive sponsorship teams competing against a zero sponsorship team. It will be like 5 foxes and a hen deciding what's for dinner. A suggestion. For this year and next year divide SARU's share of the TV rights money by 6 not 5 and give the 6th portion to the Kings to build a competitive squad and then let them compete in next year's Currie Cup with the prize being SuperRugby participation for the following year. It will only mean a 7 million difference per year to the existing franchises. They will still be receiving 35 million each per year,a small sacrifice for guaranteed Super Rugby participation for at least one more year, but a huge boost for rugby in the Eastern Cape.

      Champ - 2012-02-24 09:37

      @ Marius: if it is all about money, why then didn't the Bokke perform as expected in the WC? They had enough money?? I agree that money can and will attract more quality players, but why insist on immediately playing in a league with players that are not up to it? Money can not buy you instant success!!

      Pierre - 2012-02-24 10:16

      weet julle Griekwas is die 6 curriebekerspan en die Kijngs kan hulle nie eers wen , kan nie eers die afd waar hulle in speel wen nie , hoe kan daar sulke voorstelle wees

      Marius - 2012-02-24 10:26

      @champ. Compare apples with apples. You cannot compare Springbok rugby with franchise rugby. The Boks just pick their team from all players that are available and the franchises have to release them as Bok contracts takes precedence over franchise contracts. In franchise rugby the union with the most money can assemble the best squad of players. Then it is up to the coaching staff to produce a winning side on the field. That is what the Stormers problem had been for the last 10 years. They had all the money and players you can dream of, but completely the wrong coaching staff. The Kings have the structures in place with a good accadamy. Border and EP came first and second in the u/21 B-section, with Border winning the final by 1 point. This section included Griquas, Boland, ThePumas and the Leopards and then border went on to win their promotion game into the A-section for this year. So in 2 years time there will be a group of very exciting youngsters from the area moving up into the senior side. TRhey just need the money to keep them here and prevent them from being poached by the current big 5.

      Champ - 2012-02-24 11:13

      @ Marius: I understand what you say: you can not develop players nor attract quality players without money. But should the Kings be included in Superrugby and they do get huge sponsorships, how will they KEEP it and keep the players if they keep on losing? Will they be able to turn from Curriecup B league to Superrugby standard quick enough? Looking at the history of other franchises, I doubt it. In a professional era players will always go to where they think is best for their own pockets and future. So it might be difficult to even attract top players, because the top players will stay in the top unions? So what I say is YES, develop rugby in the EC, YES, try to keep the young talent you definitely have there, YES, build a winning culture and YES, come up through the ranks to justify inclusion on merit. YES, build something that will show potential and having a future. But NO, do not try to force something that will not be sustainable (quickly into a Super league. loose every game, loose respect, loose sponsors, loose players) and NO, do not do it by excluding another franchise that has as much passion, support and talent.

      Matt - 2012-02-24 14:12

      @Pierre. Net vir interresantheid: OP het laas jaar die Griekwas (26-16) en die Pumas (23-8) heel gemaklik geklop en die Leopards (31-25). Sou goed wees om n Currie Cup te sien met die 6 Franchises en dan die 14 provinsies in n ander liga. Ja, dit sou beteken dat die 6 "groter" spanne met basiese B-spanne in die ander liga sou speel, maar dit is juis n goeie geleentheid om diepte te ontwikkel.

  • Kevin - 2012-02-24 09:37

    SARU's lack of planning sucks. They act like our government by trying to just push things through when they screw up. Go SANZAR stick to your guns and I hope the 5 franchises boycott super rugby because of the KINGS inclusion.

  • Julian - 2012-02-24 10:20

    Tell him he`s dreaming!!!!!

  • Marius - 2012-02-24 10:22

    Why do they insist of having 6 teams, 5/5/5 is now just right. why do they keep on making this so complex

  • jeff.gaitskill - 2012-02-24 11:12


      Noudieblou - 2012-02-24 15:36

      @jeff Get real man! Are u retarded?

  • Karate - 2012-02-24 14:55

    Part 1 Open Letter to the Kings Army from a Lions Supporter After much deliberation over whether my input would change any perceptions in this very frivolous ''debate'' I have decided to contribute none the less. As a very proud lion supporter I will attempt to remain as independent as possible. Fact 1. That the EP region is not included in the super rugby structures is a real injustice, this is however also true for other smaller unions, that are branded with the larger unions in their respective franchises, (Boland/Stormers), however obtain little realistic benefit, when comparing their performance against the larger unions in CC and VC comps. Fact 2. Money rules Sport, Rugby is a professional sport and players are prone to moving where the most money is provided. This although hard to accept by the supporters is no different than the supporter leaving his job to ply his trade at the competitor firm offering higher incentive. HOWEVER some players will stay/move to a specific union due to the perceived opportunity they will be presented with at that union to further their carrier (Think springboks etc).

      Karate - 2012-02-24 14:56

      Fact 3. Promising players from a smaller union WILL move to a larger union based on the larger union's buying power and perceived value by the player. This happens yearly to the Cheetahs, and until recently the Lions have lost some of its players as well. Even the larger unions ''lose'' players between one another. It is however obvious that the smaller (Non SR) unions will lose its better players to the possibility of playing SR. Fact 4. South Africa does not currently have a player pool large enough to sustain 6 super rugby franchises. This is even more evident with the requirement to increase squad sizes to combat injury/fatigue during the longer season associated with S15. Combine that with the customary post WC exodus of stalwart players and we fall well short of a healthy pool of start players. Just look at what the inclusion of the Melbourne rebels did to Aus rugby, where most of the Brumby and Force stars where loured by the higher payouts of the Rebels. Thus negating the Brumbies and Force chances of being competitive. Fact 5. On current player roster the Kings will NOT compete at super rugby level. This is to the admission of the ''Kings Army'' who can be praised for not being foolhardy and placing all their money on a three legged horse.

      Karate - 2012-02-24 14:56

      Opinion 1. However it is after praising the ''Kings Army'' that I dare say with the upmost respect that the SR carrot being dangled in front of them has resulted in a certain degree of youthleague-initis. Now this is understandable for someone that has been deprived so long of the joys of top brass rugby. However the current ''We will take it !!, It is not our problem how !!'' attitude by the ''Kings Army'' seems a bit trigger happy. Fact 6. To be competitive the Kings will need to buy a roster of proven SR players. Fact 7. Based on the current youthleague-initis approach two of the current franchises will have to be joined into one franchise, or a franchise needs to be removed. Opinion 2. Whatever the option selected under fact 7. the end effect is the same. A large number of un-contracted players is effectively made available, looking for jobs in the player market.

      Karate - 2012-02-24 14:57

      Opinion 2. Whatever the option selected under fact 7. the end effect is the same. A large number of un-contracted players is effectively made available, looking for jobs in the player market. Opinion 3. The un-contracted players is effectively now controlled by Fact 2. and thus here it gets interesting. The better players having realistic Springbok aspirations will NOT join the Kings due to the perceived value of the team. They will rather attempt to join the remaining 4 franchises. The better player without realistic springbok hopes will join a European Club due to the larger incentive. These statements are made purely on supply and demand logic, The negative human emotional factor of joining a team perceived as the Kings are now or playing alongside Mr. Watson could also prevent a player from joining the kings, this however seems plausible but unlikely and has thus not been included in the reasoning. Fact 8. With the ''willing'' additional contracted players from the ''relegated franchise'' the King will now compete in SR. It is however likely that based on Opinion 3 they will still not be competitive. This is understandable and aggravated by the short preseason that these players will have together before their first match. There is thus no second guessing or denial when pronouncing that the Kings will fail in their first season of SR.

      Karate - 2012-02-24 14:58

      Fact 9. The Lions come of a dismal decade of SR, the Cheetahs have not performed much better. It is hence true that as the ''Kings Army'' pronounce ''The Kings can't do much worse than the Lions have done. Opinion 4. Although the Kings can't perform much worse than the Lions or the Cheetahs in SR I don't believe this warrants their inclusion in SR. Furthermore this kind of reasoning form the base of my earlier statement that the ''Kings Army'' suffers from a degree of youthleague-initis. Opinion 5. The reason for my apparent hesitation to include the Kings are further based on Facts 2,4 and Opinion 2. What will happen to the franchise that has been relegated?. It is not impossible to postulate the following.

      Karate - 2012-02-24 14:58

      After relegation the union looses it's financial input from sponsorships and tv dealerships and as a result the players leave (as per opinion 7). The union is thus left with fringe players that will not be competitive in the Currie Cup. The union is as a result required to effectively rebuild its player base, and all this without the possibility of financial incentive or perceived player opportunity. This will not only be felt at provincial level but also club and varsity level. See with player A now no longer available player B and C needs to fill his spot. all of a sudden player U/21 is prematurely drafter into the curry cup/ Vodacom cup team. Thus negating the effect of the U/21 development system. Player U/21 gets injured and is replaced by player Club. Thus the club rugby structures are obliterated.

      Karate - 2012-02-24 14:58

      Effectively all the structures and developments that was build up during the years with the moneys received from SR inclusion is destroyed. The relegated union is now in the exact same position as is the Kings are at this stage. Opinion 6. The reality is that the relegated team as with the current Kings is that they will not be able to compete with the other SR franchises. As a result this whole debate around promotion and relegation should also be scrapped as this is unrealistic. It is like telling your poor brother you will allow him to take your M3 if he wins you in a race, but you only allow him to race you in your M3 while he is kitted with his bicycle!!!.

      Karate - 2012-02-24 14:59

      Relegation will thus not solve the problem, instead it will only shift the problem from the EC to the relegated region and in the process destroy the development in that reason. Effectively SA rugby will be poorer for it! Not that dissimilar than Nationalisation is it, ''Kings Army''? Yet I am sure the majority of you fight against this ''for the greater good''? You see just as sharing the spoils of mineral rights with all through nationalisation might be a very noble and just cause, it is as with the inclusion of the Kings through force, the implementation that is lacking in the process!! This does not mean that the Kings should not be allowed to participate in SR, by all means they should. Historically only about 10% of our population had the opportunity to participate in rugby with the highest prospects. Through development this is changing although slow. But just sit and for one second imagine the strength of a Springbok team selected on merit from a player pool equal to the entire population.

      Karate - 2012-02-24 14:59

      They should however not be forced into a situation that will be detrimental to the development of the game in another region. Relegation will mean exactly that. Should we not rather aim to ensure that the idea for which the Kings stand, ie. development, is realised before including them and doing more damage to their actual goal? Accordingly the way forward should look SOMETHING like this 1. Postpone the inclusion of the Kings into super rugby until 6 teams can be accommodated ie. 2015/2016, 2. In the mean time (4 odd years) ensure additional moneys are streamed into the province to enhance player development, INCREASE the national player pool to allow the inclusion of 6 teams.

      Karate - 2012-02-24 14:59

      3. Ensure developed players get exposure to top level rugby, this includes playing pre-season friendlies, international tour exposure, the Kings management has done a great job to date in this regard and needs to be commended. Ensure the Kings gain access to the CC premiere division, be it through forced inclusion or promotion, but not at the expense of another union!!. 4.Restructure the current contracting process allowing talented ''star'' players from the region to train with the super rugby union and maybe play for these unions on a loan basis, similar that in soccer, this allows the kings to own the player but allows the player exposure to super rugby. This combined with SARU financial aid, ticks both boxes for the player, perceived value and monetary incentive. Compared to relegation the larger unions will surely more than welcome aiding the Kings in this regard as it strengthens the competition for positions in their own franchises.

      Karate - 2012-02-24 14:59

      The bottom line is thus that development must happen in order to increase the player pool to ensure that a six union can be sustained without damaging the development of the game in another region. I know it may sound harsh and unfair to now expect the Kings to again wait when they have waited so long. Likewise it is unrealistic and unfair of the Kings Army to expect the fans of the current franchised unions to give up their current super rugby ownership. This is unfortunately the emotional nature of such an argument, however allowing emotion to dictate such important decisions is to accept that no solution will be gained and borders on selfishness and foolishness.

      Karate - 2012-02-24 15:00

      Instead of lambasting one another rather identify the real issue and problem, that the blame should fall squarely at the feet of SARU who has not done enough in managing this transition, blatantly issuing statements about the kings inclusion without considering the issues at hand, and most importantly of all, failed dismally in the development of the game.

      Matt - 2012-02-24 16:08

      LOL, hel my vriend. Jy het baie tyd op hande. Net een vinnige punt - Die franchises is so ingedeel dat elke unie (buiten die Oos Kaap unies) voordeel trek uit Super Rugby. Die kleiner unies wat nie hul "fair share" kry by die franchises nie, moet gaan baklei vir hul fair share. Die Lions skuld die Pumas en Leopard sonderskeidelik iets soos 7 en 9 miljoen rand, so dis duidelik daar is tog n voordeel wat hulle daaruit kry. Moenie nou vir OP, SWD en Grens kwaad wees omdat hulle baklei vir hulle share nie.

      Marius - 2012-02-24 16:44

      From someone who has followed EP rugby for 40 years and experiecing the agony of having to watch how a president whose daytime job was a time clerk in GM's wage office was voted in on purely racial lines and whose only interest was to see how much of the union's money he could channel to their own clubs under the guise of development and to appoint a coach who took over a team that finished 3rd in the Currie Cup A-section and then within 2 years coached them out of the Currie Cup completely, I have to say that you are the first person from outside the EC erea commenting here on this subject that actually put forward a sensibly thought out argument and not just the emotional drivel that the rest are spewing forth here. I wish that we could chat over a couple of beers about this whole issue. Would make an interesting conversation. I assume that you live in JHB, but if you are ever down in PE, I would love to get together for a few beers, because I can see you are a true rugby lover and student of the game and not just an armchair expert. The Springboks vs England test on 23 June might be a good excuse for a weekend at the coast and you can then also experiece the stadium with the best test match atmosphere in the country and before anyone else shoots me down for this last comment, I have watched tests in all the major stadiums across the country over the last 10 years , so I think that sort of qualifies me to make a bold statement like that.

      Karate - 2012-02-24 16:48

      @ Matt Dit is juis die uiteindelike punt, dat die game so ontwikkel word dat almal voordeel put uit super rugby. Ja die kleiner unies bv. Leopards, Griekwas etc sal voordeel trek, finansieel gewys en tot n kleiner mate to die waarde wat n speler in so span so sien, maar dit is eindelik net n wolk skerm as vergelyk word wat hierdie span doen in die CC teen hulle groot boeties. Kom ek vra so vir jou sou jy tevrede wees as jou die Kings deel was van die Shraks? Effektiewelik sou ''jou'' ''KING SHARKS dalk een game op PE gespeel word teen die Cheetahs met een speler van die kings in die span en n ander op die bench? Ek dink jou antwoord gaan nee wees? Meestal omrede so ooreenkoms nie die Oos Kaap streek ten volle baat nie. Die eintlike idee van die insluiting van die unies is ontwikkeling maar selfs daar steek dit kort van wat dit kan Nes ek voorheen gemeen het is dit onregverdig dat die Kings nie ingesluit is in die SR reeks nie. Maar weereens bleik dit dat jy my punt verkeerd verstaan, ek is allermins kwaad vir die Kings, daarteen sal ek hulle as nog n SA span ondersteun! Ek dink tog dit is onverskullig om hulle deel te maak van SR ten koste van n ander Unie en daai unie se ontwikkeling tot op hede. Die eintlike oplossing sal wees om deur verdere finansiele hulp die spelers in die area so te verbeter sodat waneer hulle regmatiglik deel word die impak op die land se speler poel nie so erg gaan wees nie, en so word Bok rugby ook beter

  • myst.rackermann - 2012-02-24 16:31

    Someone here can't accept the fact that there are other people that are smarter than him. Sad case.

      Noudieblou - 2012-02-24 17:34

      Not that you exactly invented the rocket

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