Cape Town - SA Rugby is confident that all six of the country’s franchises will play in major international competitions next season.
South Africa is set to lose two of its teams in the Super Rugby competition, but according to the national rugby governing body’s president, Mark Alexander, plans are being made to accommodate the two unlucky parties.
In an interview with Netwerk24, Alexander said SA Rugby was busy negotiating with organisers from two overseas competitions to allow the inclusion of South African teams.
“The whole plan is to ensure that the two teams (who are axed from Super Rugby) will take part in other competitions from 2018,” Alexander said. "We do not want to condemn them to the wilderness. So if all goes well, all (six South African) teams will participate in an international tournament.”
Alexander did not mention which competitions they were eyeing, but one option could be the PRO12 in Europe.
In an interview with Sport24 last month, former Southern Spears CEO Tony McKeever called for two South African teams to join the PRO12.
The PRO12 is an annual competition involving 12 professional sides from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.
While no decision has been made on which two South African teams will be scrapped from Super Rugby, the general consensus is that it should be the Cheetahs and Southern Kings.
McKeever said those two franchises could easily be accommodated in a new “PRO14” competition, despite it clashing with South Africa’s Currie Cup.
“With the size of the current Currie Cup and Super Rugby squads, both the Cheetahs and EP Rugby could easily accommodate this schedule and start playing in September 2017,” McKeever said.