Bookies back Cats merger

You can bet on the Cheetahs and Lions playing as the Cats next year. is offering odds of 1-1 on this happening, with 5-2 odds of the five existing SA franchises playing again next year (ie, no Kings), 5-1 odds of all six SA teams getting in, and 6-1 odds on the Kings coming in for the bottom-placed Lions. Less likely, according to the bookies, is that the Kings merge with another team (10-1) and a team other than the Lions makes way for the Kings (50-1).

A recent article on said a return to the Cats would be the best way for Saru to accommodate the Kings next year as both Johannesburg and Bloemfontein would continue to have Super Rugby (four home league matches each).

Saru met with the five existing SA franchises on Thursday, but were again unable to come up with a solution. They will meet again on Monday, with a final decision being made at a general council meeting on 13 July.

Saru CEO Jurie Roux said that ‘everyone agreed that we must secure a solution that does not damage the existing franchises’, which suggests no team will be relegated.

Saru would not confirm that the Kings were still guaranteed their place in the 2013 Super Rugby tournament, which had been given to them after all 14 unions voted in favour of their inclusion at a special general meeting on 27 January.