Super Rugby cut: Players need to know

Managing director of the MyPlayers organisation, Eugene Henning, has called for SA Rugby to expedite the process of ruling on which two South African teams will be cut from Super Rugby. CRAIG LEWIS reports.

On Sunday, SA Rugby stated its intention to be able to confirm the 2018 Super Rugby participants by the end of June, with two teams from South Africa set to be cut from the competition.

Firstly, the newly established franchise committee will meet on Tuesday to finalise the criteria for selection, while that recommendation will then go on to the executive council. Once that is agreed upon, it must be approved by the general council of SA Rugby.

All the while, uncertainty hangs over the heads of numerous players, particularly those currently plying their trade for the Kings and Cheetahs, which are the two teams widely expected to be facing the axe.

READ: Cheetahs to fight for Super Rugby spot

Although most Kings players are not tied into long-term contracts, it could become a particularly difficult situation for those individuals who have committed their futures to a franchise such as the Cheetahs.

Henning said it was essential that quick and clear decisions were taken, so that they could begin working with the players affected by the Super Rugby reshuffle.

‘As a players' organisation, it is not our business to be involved in commenting on the structure of the competition or the decisions in that regard. We have to trust that Sanzaar will act to balance the commercial aspects of Super Rugby, while developing the game.

‘However, it is essential for us to be able to understand what the reasons were behind the decisions, and then to be able to take that back to the players. Secondly, it’s vital that we know sooner, rather than later, which two teams are set to be cut so that players can have some security, and begin making plans for their future.’

Understandably, some players may want to begin entering into negotiations with overseas clubs or other local franchises if they are currently part of a team that is set to be cut from Super Rugby. Yet it may be close to three months before a decision is taken on this matter.

‘The end of June is really too late,’ Henning commented. ‘It’s not ideal for the unions or the players, and they need to know. At the end of the day, there’s going to be pain, so let’s rather deal with that pain as soon as possible.’

ALSO READ: SA Rugby draws short straw

Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

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Craig Lewis