Four-team Pro14 expansion still on for SA Rugby

In one possible proposal, SA Rugby is reportedly continuing to plan for only four of its franchises to be included in an expanded Pro16 tournament.

According to Sunday newspaper Rapport, as a result, this could see SA Rugby reduce the number of its franchises from six to four.

The Cheetahs and the Kings are still reportedly the two franchises in the most danger of losing their status, if the proposal to expand the Pro14 goes ahead.

SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux in July told the media that South Africa’s two current Pro14 franchises would have a say over their destiny.

‘[Through the general council] the Cheetahs will have a very big say who plays internationally,’ Roux said, adding: ‘So will the Kings, so will the other 12 unions that are part of the general council.’

However, Rapport added that there is a second proposal to reduce the number of franchises to five, but SA Rugby would then have to find a competition for that fifth franchise as they are unlikely to be a part of Vodacom Super Rugby in the future.

A proposal that the four semi-finalists from a full-strength Currie Cup qualify for the Pro16 is reportedly not in consideration.

SA Rugby’s executive council will meet on Wednesday, during which the proposals can be further refined before being presented to the general council on Friday.

A vote on the issue will only be taken at the next general council meeting in September.

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