The Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA) in Australia opines that the country should not cut any team in its contingent but rather there should be a strong push for a trans-Tasman competition. Two South African Super Rugby franchises are set to exit the league next term. The teams are reported to be involved in a move to the European Pro12 competition that comprises of teams from Wales, Italy, Ireland and Scotland.
RUPA argues that rather than cut its team that Australian should rather push for a trans-Tasman event. It is being speculated that South Africa wants to shift the teams to the northern hemisphere. It is believed that this would leave the Super League in disarray if other franchises follow this same path. This would leave the league with just Australian and New Zealand representation.
The RUPA chief executive Ross Xenos says that the decision to move the two teams would have “significant and direct consequences” for Australia and the Super Rugby League. He said the South African Rugby Union are likely testing the waters ahead of a “long term option of their teams playing in European competitions” full-time in four years’ time.
“Why is Australia shrinking our rugby footprint at a time when South Africa is increasing theirs with a foot in both camps, and in Australia other codes are increasing their local content?” Xenos quipped.
He says moving to just four Australian sides makes the dream of future Australasian or trans-Tasman competition “more difficult.”