Demetri Catrakilis and Robert Ebersohn believe a strong domestic competition could help South African rugby become more self-reliant.
In recent years the Currie Cup has lost its prestige, taking a backseat to Vodacom Super Rugby and Test rugby as well as losing its appeal for top-class players lured away to the overseas market.
However, with Covid-19 wreaking havoc across all industries, national rugby unions have had to organise domestic tournaments in order to return to action.
New Zealand Rugby has introduced Super Rugby Aotearoa, while Rugby Australia rolled out Super Rugby AU.
Similarly, SA Rugby is set to introduce an extended Currie Cup competition which will likely feature high-end Springbok players for the first time in years.
Speaking to IOL, recently retired Catrakilis and France-based Ebersohn say returning the Currie Cup to its former glory – with the best players in the land participating and with the right competition structure – could help offset the damage done to the game locally by the Covid-19 interruption.
‘We need a strong Currie Cup,’ Catrakilis said.
‘I think because we don’t have a big Currie Cup at the moment, we find ourselves not being self-reliant on our own rugby. We have to rely on other decision-makers to join now when we have so much local talent. We shouldn’t have to rely on others, we just need the right system.
‘I’ve always imagined playing in South Africa with 14 teams, with the Pumas and Griquas and Falcons all playing in one competition and all of them equally divided, and I know it’s not always realistic, it’s different for each country,’ he explained.
‘I often wonder how it would be to have 14 teams playing in one competition and then a second division.’
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