D-Day plus on for SA fran­chises

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

CAPE TOWN: South African Rugby has set July 7 as the date when they de­cide which two of the coun­try’s teams will be dropped from Su­per Rugby for next sea­son.

The num­ber of South Africa sides will be cut from six to four as the tour­na­ment is re­duced from 18 teams to 15 af­ter crit­i­cism from broad­cast­ers over the qual­ity of the prod­uct in its present form.

The de­ci­sion by SA Rugby will be made at a spe­cial gen­eral meet­ing to be hosted in Cape Town, with the Chee­tahs and South­ern Kings ex­pected to be the teams axed – leav­ing the Blue Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stomers in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Re­ports emerged this week that the Chee­tahs’ pro­posal to join the Pro 12 com­pe­ti­tion, con­tain­ing clubs from Ire­land, Italy, Scot­land and Wales, has al­ready been met with a favourable re­sponse from SA Rugby. There have been no indi­ca­tions yet that the Kings are set to ap­ply for the same com­pe­ti­tion.

SA Rugby’s Fran­chise Com­mit­tee, which is made up of rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the six teams that are cur­rently com­pet­ing in the 2017 Su­per Rugby sea­son, will make a rec­om­men­da­tion on which sides should be dropped to the Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil.

That pro­posal will also be dis­cussed by the NonFran­chise Com­mit­tee, which con­tains the CEOs of South Africa’s 14 pro­vin­cial unions.

The Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil will then ta­ble a pro­posal at the Spe­cial Gen­eral Meet­ing, where it is highly likely to be rat­i­fied with­out de­bate.

Aus­tralia will lose the other team, ei­ther the Rebels or Force, due to be cut.

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