SARFU request fifth Super 12 team
March 15, 2000
SARFU will officially request the inclusion of a fifth South African team to the Super 12 at the SANZAR meeting later this month. But even if the competition's governing body does agree to SARFU's proposal, it is unlikely to happen any time soon.
Rian Oberholzer, chief executive of SARFU, acknowledged that the proposal was on the agenda for the March 27 meeting. He said that with the support of his Australian counterpart, John O'Neill, the decision is likely to go our way. South Africa has always supported the inclusion of a fourth Australian side and he hopes that the gesture will be returned at the meeting.
"I don't believe a final decision over the teams will be made," Oberholzer said. "Sanzar meetings take place twice a year where such issues are discussed and it seems a final decision will only be taken at the next meeting at the end of the year. On March 27 we will look at the whole series and, naturally, the proposal for a fifth South African team is on the agenda. Hopefully the final verdict will be in our favour," he said.
As far as the format by which the five teams will be selected goes, Oberholzer chose to remain silent. It is thought, however, that the top five teams from the Currie Cup competition must compete, much in the same way it was during the first years of the tournament. Players from the other unions can then be selected to fill the necessary gaps.
If the Super 12 does expand, it might have to revert back to the group section used in the old Super 10. This will definitely count in South Africa's favour as it will limit the traveling burden considerably.