Joel Stransky believes SA Rugby must scrap two of its six Super Rugby franchises in a bid to rescue the ailing Springboks.
Stransky, who guided South Africa to its first-ever World Cup title in 1995, says the Boks' catastrophic decline is due to amateur administrators and the fact that this country can't sustain more than four Super Rugby teams.
'In our worst nightmare, we could never have imagined it being this bad,' Stransky told New Zealand's Radio Sport.
'We need to understand we can't compete with six Super Rugby teams. If we want to be strong in the future, we need strong domestic Super Rugby teams. We'd probably be at our best with four,' he added.
'With all due respect to Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth, there's no crowd support and financial support to sustain their teams [the Cheetahs and Kings],' he said. 'We've got to make the right decisions for the Springboks, not the individual administrators running the game.'
Stransky explained that a reduction in provincial franchises would give the remaining teams better player rosters and increased financial leverage to lure back young players from overseas.
'A lot of blame is placed on transformation and the weak rand making a lot of our players go overseas, but I think we can put the cork back in the bottle. There are other things happening at the moment. We need to have a good look at our infrastructure.'
Since losing to Japan at last year's World Cup, the Springboks' form has plummeted with humiliating defeats to Ireland, Argentina, New Zealand, England and Italy in 2016. South Africa has lost seven of their 11 Tests this season and are yet to win an away game this year.
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