SA Rugby president Mark Alexander says South African players will be better off playing in the northern hemisphere.
Speaking at the Pro14 launch in Glasgow, Alexander hinted South African rugby could be heading north on a more permanent basis in the near future.
The Cheetahs and Kings joined the Pro14 last year and there is a strong possibility that two more local teams will be included in the competition next season.
‘It’s a long-term investment. We have options now and in future. At some point in time, in future, if we don’t want to stay in the south [in Super Rugby], we can move north,’ said Alexander.
He added that the involvement of local players and coaches in Europe is beneficial for South African rugby.
‘The Pro14 is a good competition for the players and coaches who’re playing against tier-one nations each weekend. When we become a full Pro14 member next season, we’ll be the only nation who plays in the north and the south, and the major benefit of playing in the northern hemisphere is the players are better off.
‘With the structure of the Pro14 competition the way it is, it’s easier for travelling, with distances between places less than in the south, and the time zones are also better. When you consider player welfare and what’s best for them, then the north is better.’
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