Cheetahs & Kings could be 'trailblazers' for SARU

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 16:15

REACTION: The Cheetahs and Southern Kings could pave the way for more South African teams to dump SANZAAR and head north.

It was confirmed on Friday that the Cheetahs and the Kings are the two teams to be axed from Super Rugby in 2018.

As was stated numerous times by rugby365 - including in our latest podcast - the Cheetahs and Kings are likely to join the revamped Pro12 (likely to be renamed the Pro14) as early as September.

However, more significantly, they could also compete in other European competitions - the Champions and Challenge Cup tournaments.

This revelations was made by South African Rugby Union CEO Jurie Roux, when he explained the reasoning and process that resulted in the Cheetahs and Kings stepping away from Super Rugby.

"We are very grateful towards the Kings and the Cheetahs," Roux told a media briefing, adding: "We endorse their strategic drive towards other competitions, diversity in where we play and possible proof of concept of whether a venture into the north is viable for South Africa."

Roux was adamant that the two franchises were not "pushed".

"I can categorically state that no one was forced into this process," the SARU boss said.

He added that the Cheetahs and Kings "voluntary" made the decision.

"They all have agreements in place till 2019," he said, adding: "They could have put their foot down and challenged those agreements in court."

While Roux was reluctant to reveal exactly what competitions the Kings and Cheetahs may enter, he admitted and expanded Pro12 (or Pro12) is not the only venture on the table.

"What I can confirm is that there is negotiations about competitions in the north."

He said these negotiations are "extremely far" down the line.

"They could play in the same competition or more than one competitions," Roux said, adding that SARU is making the right strategic moves.

"We have never had proof of concept and we don't know if that is going to work, in terms of viewership and spectators.

"Are people interested in seeing us playing Toulon or Toulouse?

"We have looked at South African [TV] viewership [of European competitions] in terms of Sunday matches and the numbers are scary.

"We have an inclination that, that might work.

"This will allow us to look at our own structures, possibly in the spreading of our own players.

"We can get our franchises to work together and spread the players across the board."

Roux also said the quality of the game the north should not be underestimate."

@rugby365com

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Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28