Pumas boss’ request to SA Rugby
REACTION: The Pumas hope their Currie Cup campaign proved that they belong in SA Rugby’s new Franchise Cup competition.
According to various media reports, SA Rugby has developed a new tournament – the Franchise Cup – which is scheduled to kick-off in February.
Reports claim that competition will include the former Super Rugby franchises (Bulls, Lions, Stormers, and Sharks) as well as the Cheetahs.
However, there have been calls to expand the Franchise Cup to eight teams, giving an opportunity for Pumas, Griquas and the Southern Kings to join the newly created competition.
Speaking after the impressive 44-14 win over the Bulls on Sunday, Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse said he hopes his team can claim a spot in the Franchise Cup – despite their major problem area.
“Squad depth continues to be a bit of a problem for a team like us,” Stonehouse said.
“When injuries strike, things become very challenging for us and that’s why it’s difficult to play in a [back-to-back domestic campaign – Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup] like this one.
“However, we really stepped up and I hope SA Rugby has taken note of it.”
He added: “I really hope we will be part of the Franchise Cup that starts in five weeks’ time.”
*Article continues below…
The Pumas ended the season with an emphatic six-try win over the log-leaders the Bulls.
The Lowverlders dominated possession and were particularly impressive at the line-outs and scrums against the Bulls team, which had the likes of Morné Steyn, Ivan van Zyl and Arno Botha in their youthful starting XV.
“Many would argue that we played against a weakened Bulls team, however, they had 14 players who played against the Lions in the team.
“And If you look at the Bulls’ structures, they have won the Under-21 provincial championship for two consecutive years, so they have excellent prospects.
He added: “We played good rugby. Whatever the Bulls opponent we face, I think every Bulls team is a strong one.”
The Pumas concluded the Currie Cup campaign in sixth place.