Saru shed light on Super Rugby participation

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Johannesburg - The South African Rugby Union (Saru) on Thursday clarified the position on South African teams participating in the Super Rugby competition.

Saru said its executive council (Exco) proposed at a special general meeting in January that the top four teams in the South African conference in this year's Super Rugby competition would join the Southern Kings in next year's competition.

The decision to include the Southern Kings in the 2013 Super Rugby tournament was made at the same meeting.

Saru revealed on Thursday that it had also been proposed that the last-placed team in the South African conference would play a promotion/relegation match against the non-Super Rugby franchise after the 2013 and 2014 season.

The franchises, however, requested at the same meeting that a decision on the mechanism of qualification be postponed to allow them time to make alternative proposals.

According to a briefing document on South African participation in the 2013 Super Rugby competition Saru said the “approval of the format, structure and composition of Saru’s major competition, currently known as the Absa Currie Cup or its successor, as well as determining the South African teams to participate in Super Rugby competitions” could only be taken by the general meeting.

The next scheduled general meeting is on July 13 in Cape Town where this contentious issue should be concluded.

“Rugby has been consistently united in supporting the Kings’ place in Super Rugby in 2013,” said Jurie Roux, Saru chief executive.

“Our focus has been on finding a rugby answer to the questions that flow from that that’s fair, transparent in its mechanism and will strengthen South African rugby in the long run. Those discussions continue.

“Until a final decision is reached, the franchises and the Saru presidency are agreed that it would be unhelpful to the competing teams to publicly debate the pros and cons of different scenarios.

“When a decision is announced we will be able to report back to rugby supporters in full.” - Sapa


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