South Africa's six Super Rugby franchises on Tuesday agreed a set of criteria to determine the four teams to play in the competition from 2018.
At the first sitting of the new franchise committee – established by SA Rugby in December to streamline and professionalise the running of rugby – the CEOs of the franchises and other committee members identified areas on which the teams would be measured.
The agreed headline criteria, which have been weighted, are: financial and economic sustainability; sustainable support base; team performance; and stadium and facilities. These criteria were further broken down in sub-criteria, and measurement mechanisms for each of these were also set and agreed upon.
SA Rugby will now collate the applicable data to prepare a recommendation to go back to the franchise committee, for a decision on the final four teams. This proposal will be sent to the executive council before it will go to the general council for ratification.
'The committee looked at the key question of “what are the fundamental criteria required to make a successful South African Super Rugby franchise?”', said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.
'We have reached this painful point partly because of over-optimism, and partly because we have not always taken a hard-nosed business view of what is good for rugby. It is the right process, with a challenging outcome for two of our franchises.
'But they have all engaged in the process, at the end of which the data will drive the conclusion. We have more work to do, but we are moving the process along as swiftly as is possible.'
The meeting was chaired by Mark Alexander, SA Rugby president. Its other members are the deputy and vice presidents, Francois Davids and James Stoffberg respectively, as well as Roux.
The franchise committee will consider the data at their next meeting, scheduled to take place within the next two to three weeks.
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