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    Ex-Bok: Cheetahs need Pro12 to survive

    2017-07-11 13:04

    Lynn Butler - Sport24

    Cape Town - Former Springbok and Cheetahs prop Os du Randt has welcomed reports that the Bloemfontein-franchise might move to the Pro12 competition in Europe.

    SA Rugby confirmed last week that the Cheetahs and the Kings will not play Super Rugby in 2018.

    Both the Kings and the Cheetahs agreed that they would be seeking other international opportunities with the Pro12 in Europe one of the them.

    The legendary Du Randt, who is a former Cheetahs forwards coach, was delighted with reports suggesting that the Cheetahs could be added to the Pro12 - a competition which includes club teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.

    "These two franchises (Cheetahs and Kings) will just fight for survival and there best way is to play in Pro12," Du Randt told Sport24 in an exclusive interview.

    "That's the only way players can sign for the Cheetahs and Kings and know they can still play competitive games and the Springbok coach can still compare them with the Super Rugby guys. It's the only way they can get the national selectors talking and paying attention.

    "There's no question, the Kings and Cheetahs have to play in that tournament - otherwise they'll just die."

    Du Randt believes that the two South African teams participating in the Pro12 could be detrimental to South Africa in the Super Rugby tournament.

    "I believe that we do need to get less teams involved in order to get stronger competitive teams, but the way SANZAAR are going about it isn't the best way," said Du Randt.

    "The thing that bothers me a little bit is that I feel we are more or less strengthening the Sunwolves and the Jaguares since we are losing two good teams. Players want to test themselves against the best.

    "That leaves me with a question, are we really creating stronger teams in Super Rugby?

    "If we lose these teams to the Pro12, will they not be strengthening the other Super Rugby franchises?" added the former Cheetahs prop.

    "Maybe three or four guys will say, 'Hey, we don't want to play in the Northern Hemisphere' and so they will probably have an escape clause, take a sabbatical and rather play for the Bulls or Lions.

    "They are not going to get all the best players from the Cheetahs and Kings to infiltrate the remaining franchises."

    Du Randt, 44, played 80 Tests for the Springboks between 1994 and 2007 and won two World Cups.

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