Currie Cup restructuring meeting postponed

A special General Council Meeting to discuss the restructuring of the Currie Cup has been postponed, the SA Rugby Union (Saru) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The meeting, scheduled to be held in Cape Town on Friday, has been moved to February 13.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss, for the third time, a proposal to expand the premier domestic rugby competition from six to eight teams in 2014.

“However, soundings taken by the Executive Council (Exco) in advance of the meeting clearly indicated that the latest proposal was unlikely to reach the required two-thirds majority,” Saru said.

“In those circumstances, the Games and Policies Committee has been asked to reconsider the proposal for re-submission to the council next month.”

In the current format, the team which finishes bottom of the log plays a promotion/relegation playoff against the top finisher in the first division.

Last season, the Pumas gained promotion at the expense of the Griquas who were relegated to the first division.

The restructuring would allow Griquas to remain in the premier division, while the Eastern Province Southern Kings, who finished second in the first division, would also find themselves in top-flight rugby in the 2014 season.

Saru president Oregan Hoskins said it was not merely a matter of agreeing to expansion, but that differences between the provinces on other matters needed to be resolved.

“There are local dynamics. We know in the Eastern Cape there is a huge challenge between the partners Eastern Province, Border and the South-Western Districts,” Hoskins said when the proposal was mooted last year.

“They are at massive loggerheads and it is a challenge for us and we are working with them to work through their differences to see if they can’t find common ground.”

The way the finances were distributed among the 14 unions also posed a challenge, he said.

“There is a huge issue in our rugby about how the cake should be divided. The small unions have over the last few years received a massive exponential increase in terms of grants from the mother body.

“My worry is the bigger unions who have to contract the Springbok players and we’ve seen the exodus of players [going overseas].

“If we don’t get it right in how we divide the cake, we are going to be in trouble going forward.”

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