Future no clearer after SA Rugby AGM

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Another meeting, another day of little more clarity for Super Rugby fans, following South Africa’s AGM overnight.

SA Rugby released a statement late on Thursday night wrapping their Cape Town meeting, with no mention of any discussions about Super Rugby going forward.

Australia has its own AGM on Monday April 10, and it is expected that some public resolution could come in the next week, more than a month after SANZAAR’s executive meeting in London that foreshadowed change in the ‘coming days’.

Though, the longer negotiations drag on, the less likely dramatic change will be, with the 2017 Super Rugby season nearly half over.

SA Rugby president Mark Alexander said in that statement the body would be rolling out a 100-day plan that included domestic competition reviews, fan engagement and preparing a bid for the 2023 World Cup.

Mark Alexander says the Springboks have to improve. Photo: Getty Images“Hosting the Rugby World Cup for the second time in 28 years is imperative both for our game and our country,” he said.

“We offer World Rugby the chance to put on a highly profitable and unforgettable tournament in unbeatable stadiums and conditions.

“We have shown our hunger and passion for the tournament by bidding for the 2011, 2015 and 2019 events. We are ready.

“Rugby belongs to the people of South Africa. It is a national asset and it has the power to build our nation. We will do it by being a winning team on and off the field. We will be the leading rugby nation.”

The Springboks are coming off what Alexander admitted was their ‘lowest ebb since rugby unity in 1992’.

““Let’s not beat about the bush: it turned out to be the toughest and most challenging year in a quarter of a century – both on and off the field,” he said.

“The fortunes of our business are chiefly determined by one over-riding factor: the performance of the flagship team.

“The new era and new dawn we had all hoped for failed to materialise. But 2017 will be different.”