SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux says plans are under way to restructure the domestic season in the wake of the recent measures dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
These plans could have South African franchises and other provincial teams return to a new, locally based derby competition in view of the current suspension of Vodacom Super Rugby and the PRO14.
Sanzaar chief executive Andy Marinos this past weekend said the governing body can only give it five weeks before they face the possibility of Super Rugby being scrapped.
New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia have both also confirmed that they are in discussions to hold tournaments in their own countries when restrictions are lifted.
Roux has confirmed the national rugby body is in ongoing discussions with stakeholders about a number of competition models that could be implemented.
‘SA Rugby is currently evaluating all our competition structures, with a view to restructure it in the interim so that we are able to afford game time to all our franchise and provincial teams,’ said Roux.
‘Obviously, nothing can happen in the next few weeks until the “period of social distancing”, as instructed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, has lapsed.
‘We are considering local derby matches between our South African teams. We must still drill into the specifics, but we are confident we will be able to put a feasible plan on the table that will be suitable for everyone.
‘These are extraordinary times which call for extraordinary measures and it also offers us an opportunity to be innovative.
‘We are working closely with our broadcast partner, SuperSport, and other important stakeholders and will announce plans once we are in a position to do so,’ Roux added.
Ideally, in the new competition the Super Rugby franchises – the Vodacom Bulls, Sharks, Lions and Stormers – could compete against the PRO14 teams – the Cheetahs and Kings – as well as a couple of teams from the Currie Cup.
Photo: EPA/KIM LUDBROOK