Cape Town - SA Rugby on Friday announced that the Mpumalanga and
Griqualand West Rugby Unions had been identified as the preferred candidates to
assume places in inter-continental competitions, should opportunities arise.
The two unions were selected from a list of four bidders in
a process assessed and determined by independent consultants. The unsuccessful
bidders were combinations of the Leopards, Valke and Griffons Rugby Unions and
of the Boland, Border and SWD unions.
There have been reports previously that two South African teams could join the Anglo-Welsh Cup, and this latest development suggests that that could still be on the cards.
South African rugby already fields teams in the southern
hemisphere Super Rugby competition and the European-centred PRO14.
Discussions have additionally taken place with various
entities about potentially fielding teams in other international competitions.
Any announcements in that regard will only be made on the completion of
The appearance of the Pumas and Griquas in any new
competitions would also be dependent on their agreement to licensing terms and
conditions, said Jurie Roux, SA Rugby CEO.
“This is an important first step to further expanding the
international reach of South African rugby and gives us time to have them
properly prepared should future opportunities become available,” he said.
“There are discussions taking place but we are some way from
confirming any new opportunities. That process is likely to continue well into
2018 before we have any finality.”
The outcome of the assessment was announced to the SA Rugby
General Meeting in Cape Town on Friday.