Bottom's up for Currie Cup

Tue, 29 Oct 2013 07:01
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SARU president Oregan Hoskins is confident provincial unions will come to an agreement to expand the Currie Cup from six to eight teams in 2014.

SARU president Oregan Hoskins is confident provincial unions will come to an agreement to expand the Currie Cup from six to eight teams in 2014.

A proposal to expand the premier domestic rugby competition was rejected last month by a Special General Council meeting of the SARU provinces.

It was agreed that the status quo would remain and the team which finished top of the First Division log in 2013 would play the last-placed team in the Currie Cup for the chance of promotion in 2014.

However, Hoskins expects that decision to be reversed when the General Council meets again on December 5.

"I remain positive come our meeting in December. We are working hard with all our constituents to try to resolve this matter," Hoskins said in Johannesburg on Monday.

"What we are trying to do is take everybody along. It is not easy. People have different views about what it should be."

The Pumas gained promotion this weekend at the expense of Griquas, who were relegated.

A vote to expand the Currie Cup will allow Griquas to remain, while the Eastern Province Kings, who finished second in the First Division could find themselves in top-flight rugby next season.

Hoskins said it was not merely a matter of agreeing to expansion, but that differences between the provinces on other matters needed to be resolved.

"There are local dynamics.

"We know in the Eastern Cape there is a huge challenge between the partners Eastern Province, Border and the South-Western Districts," he said.

"They are at massive loggerheads and it is a challenge for us and we are working with them to work through their differences to see if they can’t find common ground."

Hoskins said the way finances were distributed among the 14 unions posed an even greater challenge to South African rugby.

"There is a huge issue in our rugby about how the cake should be divided. The small unions have over the last few years received a massive exponential increase in terms of grants from the mother body.

"My worry is the bigger unions who have to contract the Springbok players and we've seen the exodus of players (going overseas) and they can't keep the players.

"If we don't get it right in how we divide the cake, we are going to be in trouble going forward," he added.

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Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 7 7 0 0 34
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Western Province 7 4 0 3 23
Golden Lions 7 4 0 3 22
Griquas 7 4 0 3 20
Boland 7 2 0 5 9
Pumas 7 0 0 7 5
EP Kings 7 0 0 7 1