The Cheetahs and the Kings are better off without Super Rugby.
And I truly believe they were the big winners of the Super Rugby cuts on Friday.
That’s if they get to play in Europe’s Pro12.
For years now it has been suggested that South Africa leave Sanzaar and join the guys in Europe.
It would make sense on a klomp levels.
Firstly there is the time issue.
It’s tough to be “mentally” prepared for an early Saturday, or Friday, kickoff when all you want to do is sleep in a bit.
I’m talking about Super matches being played in New Zealand – those 9.35am ones.
In terms of viewership, I do believe this has an impact on South Africans.
Non-rugby-loving spouses aren’t as forgiving with rugby on the TV from morning till midnight on Saturdays.
“Djy sit heeldag net op jou gat voor die TV terwyl ek na alles moet omsien,” I’m sure more than a few of us have heard over the years.
Then you get the odd game in Argentina, the ones that start when all you want to do is fall asleep already.
In Europe it’s one or two hours behind us. And I’m pretty sure that no professional team will get their gig on at 9.30 in the morning.
Timing is crucial for a rugby fan.
En dis mos ‘n groot ding.
I doubt whether any of those franchises would’ve taken the golden handshake if it wasn’t to their benefit.
If they do join the Pro12, all of a sudden we’re talking Pounds and not Rand.
Nou wie wil dan nou nie vir die spanne speel nie?
And here is the tammeletjie for SA Rugby, I think.
What do you now tell
players who ply their trade overseas? Surely the Cheetahs and the Kings players will still be eligible to play for the national team.
Let me just make one thing clear: I don’t have a clue if the players will now be paid in Pounds or not.
I would like to think so.
It just makes sense if they are going to up the viewership number on Sky Sports – not only by entertaining the expats, but getting some South African interest in this tournament as well.
If that’s the case, then I can’t think of a single player that wouldn’t want to get the best of both worlds.
What I would’ve done if I was in the position to do anything is to sign the hele overseas-based SA players that still want to play for the national team but can’t because they are already there and haven’t represented the Springboks in 30-plus outings.
Surely that will open up a hele nuwe can of worms, but this is definitely a great opportunity for South African Rugby.
Now only if Jurie Roux and his manskappe can play their cards right…