It turns out the guys at Sanzaar do care about the state of Super Rugby.
Over the weekend, reports have surfaced that they are working on a new model for the competition.
And one of the most sensible solutions would be to trim the number of sides in the tournament, with both South Africa and Australia losing one franchise each.
It’s music to my ears.
In fact, I believe we can even lose two teams in order to be successful as a country again.
Anyway, this will see the new tournament only having 16 teams — with probably the Force and the Kings suffering the axe.
South Africa should never have pushed for the Kings to be a Super Rugby franchise in the first place.
Yes, it is a hotbed for local talent.
But the thing is, over the years that talent have successfully moved on from the Friendly City and have made careers at other provinces.
Not only don’t we have the quality in this country to field a sixth franchise that can successfully compete with the New Zealanders, but we don’t have enough quality coaches in the country to warrant that many Super Rugby teams.
South Africa’s rugby is in a transitional phase and we can’t afford to have our resources stretched to the max — for now at least, it should be a case of less is more.
While Sanzaar are busy looking at a new model, I hope Saru’s new president – whoever he will be – will have the heart to change things in this country as well.
If the Kings fall by the wayside, I would love for the Rainbow Nation to unite and help strengthen the fifth franchise — who’d be the Cheetahs.
How I see this happening is as follows: at the Sharks, for example, you have two fullbacks that are showing a lot of promise — Curwin Bosch and Rhyno Smith.
With Pat Lambie leading from the flyhalf channel, Bosch and Smith will go head-to-head for the rights to wear the fullback jumper. We’ve seen the impact something likes this has had on a player like Scarra Ntubeni, who has had to sit on the wood for Bongi Mbonambi throughout the season.
I think the franchise that “owns” these players should have first option of who they want, before “loaning out” the second player.
This is how we’ll ensure that all of the guys that still want to play at the top level actually get some game time.
And there are a number of examples of this.
The only way South Africa will catch up with the All Blacks is if we get our act together off the field – and this is where I’m hoping the new Saru president will be one who is not scared to change the status quo.