Super Rugby

No downside in SA teams joining PRO12 - coach

Gregor Townsend (Getty Images)
Gregor Townsend (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Scotland coach Gregor Townsend says there would be no downside in two South African franchises joining the PRO12 in Europe.

Recent media reports have indicated that the two South African franchises excluded from Super Rugby could be added to the PRO12 - a European competition that currently includes club teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.

Super Rugby will be reduced from 18 to 15 teams from next year, with two teams from South Africa and one from Australia to get the boot.

While nothing has been made official, the general consensus is that the two South African teams excluded from the competition will be the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings.

Townsend, who was Glasgow coach until taking over the Scotland job this season, does not foresee any problems should the PRO12 be expanded.

He spoke to Australian media ahead of his side’s Test against the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday.

“I don’t know if there’s desire or not, you would have to ask the organisers of the PRO12,” Townsend was quoted as saying by the website.

“I’ve coached in the PRO12 the last five years and it’s an excellent tournament. The variety is something that makes it special and unique with teams from Ireland, Wales and Italy," Townsend continued.

“If there was a willingness for the PRO12 to include teams from South Africa, I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work out. It’s a great competition that’s always looking to evolve.”

SA Rugby will announce on July 7 which two South African franchises will lose their Super Rugby status.