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Report: South African Super Rugby sides could join PRO14 by next year

(Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The drum beats are getting louder – South Africa will quit Super Rugby to join a northern hemisphere competition.

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But one South African writer has warned of the dangers, saying the country would be throwing its lot in with a second rate rugby tournament.

Rapport is reporting that the Lions, Bulls, Stormers and Sharks could join Europe’s PRO14 by next year, or 2023 at the latest.

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The Cheetahs and Kings, dumped by Super Rugby, have already joined the competition involving leading clubs from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy.

According to Rapport, there is only room for five South African sides meaning one would miss out on a PRO14 place.

Rival media outlet Sport24 reported: “With Super Rugby 2020 suspended (because of coronavirus), this has been an opportunity for Sanzaar to reflect and while the message out of the organization has presented a united front, the mumblings of South African franchises cashing in for potentially more lucrative fees in Europe has only gathered momentum.”

Sport24’s chief writer Rob Houwing said the Covid-19 crisis, has “increased the ripples over South Africa’s future in (Super Rugby) when it is increasingly struggling for the credibility of old anyway.”

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But Houwing sounded a warning.

“Naturally there will be travel, time-zone and some financially-related pluses to such a shift. You have to wonder, too, just how sustainable an all-Australasian Super Rugby would be, minus the obvious South African clout,” he wrote.

“The considerable snag with PRO14, as I see it, is that it is in many ways only the ‘best of the rest’ in a UK/European context, given that English clubs continue to campaign in the almost certainly still more blue-chip, England-specific premiership.

“There are some extremely prestigious Irish and Welsh clubs and players, for example, active in the PRO14.

“But without the cream of English (and French) teams, PRO14 is just another tournament which can’t even be described as the premiers barometer, unlike Super Rugby in the south.”

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B.J. Spratt 3 hours ago
Jono Gibbes' reaction to France U20s putting 55 points on New Zealand

N.Z. Under 20'‘s concede 7 tries to France Unfortunately New Zealand Rugby has lost over 25% + of players between 12-18 over the last 3-5 years, possibly more. Poor administration and a Shocking Public Perception about the NZRFU has finally caught up with these dinosaurs. 66% of N.Z. Population lives North of Hamilton and 52% of Auckland population are Asian, who would rather play football. Rugby is dying while other Sports are growing. The rules need to change around the collision/tackle but personally I think the absolute “Arrogance and Stupidity” that the NZRFU has demonstrated over the decades, “with their jobs for the boys attitude” has led to their demise. A Professional Players Union that can somehow “Disassociate itself from the “Old men with bad breath and dandruff” that is the NZRFU, will be a huge challenge. Personally I think it’s far too late to recover and rejuvenate interest in Rugby by young players. Rugby is booming in France and that’s the difference. A booming Professional domestic League. NZRFU are “Not fit for purpose” and have no idea about commercial reality My kids generation would rather their kids don’t play Rugby. Very aware of CTE and the NZRFU arrogance and stupidity, in denying its existence. Finally, the NZRFU have managed to cover up ”Numerous serious crimes over the decades, committed by players, coaches and administrators simply because the tentacles of their “Power and Influence” have reached all sectors of New Zealand Society, including the Judiciary, Politicians, Police and Big business. Denying CTE even exists is a “no brainer for them”

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