Saru stalls on Super Rugby dilemma

Saru will hold a second meeting with the South African Super Rugby franchises on Monday as they negotiate a solution to accommodate the Southern Kings.

Representatives of South Africa’s five existing Super Rugby franchises (the Bulls, Cheetahs, Lions, Sharks and Stormers), the Kings, the Saru presidency and management met in Johannesburg on Thursday to discuss next year’s participation in Super Rugby.

With Sanzar only allowing five teams to be entered in each conference and Saru promising the Kings a spot in the competition in 2013, one of the five current participating teams needs to make way.

Saru confirmed their initial proposal of introducing automatic relegation this season, which would see the Lions fall out according to the current log standings. But a second meeting will now be held as all parties will try to find a way to accommodate all six franchises without ‘causing damage’.

‘Everyone was agreed that we must secure a solution that does not damage any of the existing franchises,’ said Saru CEO Jurie Roux. ‘It is a complex issue with no easy answers and we are determined to leave no stone unturned in finding that answer. A number of options were discussed but there is currently no preferred alternative to recommend to the general council.’

Roux added that a decision on the Super Rugby participation dilemma will be finalised with the Saru general council on 13 July.