EXCLUSIVE - SARU in advanced talks to add two teams to Anglo-Welsh Cup

DWPTA

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EXCLUSIVE - SARU in advanced talks to add two teams to Anglo-Welsh Cup

Following the addition of the Cheetahs and Southern Kings to the Guinness PRO14 this season, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) is keen to expand their northern hemisphere options for the 2018/19 campaign.

RugbyPass understands that talks are at an advanced stage to add two new “franchises” to the Anglo-Welsh Cup next season, with SARU seemingly keen to open up multiple avenues in the northern hemisphere, as they continue to search for alternatives to Super Rugby.

The final decisions on this mooted move will be made later this month but if they are given the go-ahead by both SARU and Anglo-Welsh Cup organisers, Premier Rugby Ltd, then the two new franchises will be built around existing Currie Cup teams.

With the Cheetahs and Southern Kings committed to the PRO14, both the Free State Cheetahs and Eastern Province would likely be off the cards, but the Sharks (Durban) and Golden Lions (Johannesburg) are potential options, with their affiliated Super Rugby sides rumoured to also be open to moves to the northern hemisphere in the coming seasons.

This would be a way for the decision-makers at the Sharks and Lions to test the waters in regard to the viability of playing in the northern hemisphere.

An alternative would be to build the two new franchises around Currie Cup sides that have no affiliations to Super Rugby sides, such as the Pumas (Nelspruit) or Griquas (Kimberley), or sides from the Currie Cup 1st Division, such as the Griffons (Welkom), Leopards (Potchefstroom) or Border Bulldogs (East London).

If the respective boards agree to the move later this month, it will be another step forward for South African rugby in the northern hemisphere and may well be the precursor to more interest from England and France in the South African sides, especially with big markets like Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria potentially on the cards in the coming years.
EXCLUSIVE - SARU in advanced talks to add two teams to Anglo-Welsh Cup
 

ToxicBunny

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#2
Interesting move, and one I've said should be happening for a long time.

BUT, it mustn't be done with teams like Pumas or Griquas.. it needs to be top line teams and also needs to be a big FSCK YOU to SANZAR who have been screwing us around for awhile.
 

cr@zydude

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12 English, 4 Welsh and 2 SA sides makes for 18 teams, perhaps 3 groups of 6. I do like the idea of our teams playing in Europe even though this is a bit of a rubbish tournament.
 
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DWPTA

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12 English, 4 Welsh and 2 SA sides makes for 18 teams, perhaps 3 groups of 6. I do like the idea of our teams playing in Europe even though this is a bit of a rubbish tournament.
Agreed, but why the Lions and Sharks though? Would've rather sent Kwas and Pumas to it.
 

Badprop_za

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What about a potential u23 and/or u21 team? Call it a SA juniors team for those players not actively involved in their Super franchises.

Could be a breeding ground for those players initially not deemed good enough as well as more players gaining experience in travelling and playing abroad?
 
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