Free State Cheetahs managing director Harold Verster is confident the union will make it through the uncertain period of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The drastic effect of the novel coronavirus has excluded South African franchises from Vodacom Super Rugby as well as the PRO14, where the Cheetahs and Kings have featured in recent years.
But, the two teams could not be at the expense of the other South African teams should they confirm a move to the northern hemisphere, which will leave the Cheetahs without a competition to compete in.
Verster, though, is adamant that just like in the past the union will work its way through this challenge.
‘The Cheetahs never say die. We fight back every time that there is a challenge – we have created teams to work through it and make a success of it,’ he told Free State radio station OFM in an interview.
‘We’ve been in and out of Super Rugby, Top 10 Rugby, and with all of those different challenges that we have experienced in the past, and we have also learned from it. We are under severe pressure at the moment due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and all the talk that we might be out of PRO Rugby again.
‘All of these things are uncertain. It’s very uncertain times and nobody knows what is going to happen. Even the international World Rugby calendar has not been finalised because France is not happy with what they have suggested. If they cannot sort out the rugby calendar now, but I think they will soon, but once they’ve done that, then they can look at the Super Rugby, PRO Rugby, Currie Cup rugby etc.
‘We’ve been in contact with SA Rugby, and we’ve got a team with our chairman, Ryno Opperman, our president, Jerry Segwaba, and myself taking care of things, and we are quite confident at this stage that there will be a good result for the Cheetahs going forward.
‘We might not see any PRO Rugby or Super Rugby in the next couple of months or even next year, but after that, I think there will be a good competition structure where the Cheetahs will feature. After all of our discussions and meetings and the way we have approached this we are confident that there will be something special for our supporters.’