The Free State Cheetahs’ 1976 Currie Cup-winning squad has written an open letter to SA Rugby demanding the union’s continued participation in the PRO14.
Rumours have grown that four South African franchises could be set to join an expanded tournament.
While the four teams to represent the country in the PRO16 are yet to be identified, it is widely expected that the Super Rugby sides – the Vodacom Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers – will be the chosen ones with the Cheetahs and Kings, who are currently competing in the PRO14, likely to be axed in the same way they were cut from Super Rugby in 2017.
But according to Netwerk24, the Free State’s class of 1975 has now written to SA Rugby to express their concern about the Cheetahs’ future and to suggest that the national governing body select just three Super Rugby franchises to join the Cheetahs as the four South African representatives in the PRO tournament.
‘If not that, then the Currie Cup has to determine who the four best teams in the country are,’ former lock Ross van Reenen wrote. ‘Or are the other franchises scared of Cheetahs?
‘After the Super Rugby fiasco a few years ago when the Cheetahs were shown the door, the team had to find their own way and had to fight for the opportunity to play in the PRO14. Now they want to take that away from them too?’
‘We strongly feel that the Cheetahs deserve the right to play in the PRO16.’
Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images