Teams representing Argentina and Namibia will compete in the 2010 Vodacom Cup.
The decision was made at a meeting of the Saru Interim Executive Council (Exco) in George on Thursday. The Argentinian team is likely to be based in Stellenbosch and play in the Southern Section of the competition. Namibia will play in the Northern Section.
‘We have a responsibility as a member of the rugby family to assist our fellow nations where we can,’ said Dr Jan Marais, chairman of the Interim Exco. ‘By including Argentina and Namibia in the Vodacom Cup we hope to assist them in their preparation in the year before the rugby World Cup.
Marais added this could prove an important step for Argentina ahead of their likely inclusion in the 2012 Tri-Nations.
‘We also believe that it will be good for the Vodacom Cup by adding interest to the competition and exposing our players and supporters to different rugby cultures.’
The meeting also mandated Saru president Oregan Hoskins to continue discussions with European rugby authorities around proposals to include the Southern Kings in a northern hemisphere rugby competition.
Hoskins told the meeting he had been encouraged by discussions around the possibility of the Kings appearing in the Celtic League competition.
Other outcomes of the meeting were:
· Saru will seek special dispensation from government to host the 2010 Test against France at Newlands on 12 June, during the FIFA World Cup. Failing that, Saru will pursue options to host the match overseas.
· The Tests against Italy on 19 and 26 June will be hosted in Witbank and East London on the proviso that the venues meet the required criteria.
· The Saru budget for 2010 was accepted
· Eric Sauls (head coach), Nico Serfontein and Johan Pienaar were named as coaches of the South African U20 team for the IRB Junior World Championships to take place in Argentina from 5-21 June 2010.
· Players younger than 18 years of age shall not be allowed to play senior rugby in any position at any level of rugby under the auspices of Saru
· In addition, players who are 18 but under the age of 19 years of age shall not be allowed to play senior rugby in the front row at any level of rugby under the auspices of Saru, unless a waiver is granted by Saru after the achievement of certain criteria.
· Only match officials and coaches who have completed and been certified by the Boksmart national rugby safety programme will be allowed to operate in South African rugby from January 2011.
· Saru decided against tendering for the right to host the 2013 IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament.