Super 14 Rugby

SA Rugby awards Super 14 Franchises

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The Presidents Council of SA Rugby today met in Durban to consider and approve the recommendation by the Adjudication Panel regarding the award of the Super 14 franchises from 2006 onwards.

The Adjudication Panel, duly appointed by SA Rugby, comprised of Adv. Norman Arendse SC (Convenor), messrs Dan Moyo, Derrick Minnie and Dr Len Konar, was mandated to assist with the bid process in a transparent manner, and in accordance with the following eligibility criteria:

(i) Team performance and elite player development (30 % weighting);
(ii) Transformation and development (10 %)
(iii) Commercial success, infrastructure and financial sustainability (25%);
(iv) Support for national teams (10%);
(v) Super 14 organisation and planning (15 %);
(vi) Support for the franchise (10%).

Regard had to be given to SA Rugby’s four strategic objectives:

‘ A winning Springbok team;
‘ Growing the game;
‘ Transformation;
‘ Financial sustainability.

In addition, the Panel had to ensure that the bid process aligns with SA Rugby’s specific Super 14 objectives, namely to:

‘ Comply with the requirements of the Sanzar broadcasting agreement
‘ Conduct a professional tender process that is simple, objective and transparent;
‘ Effectively work with the five Super 14 franchises on and off the field.
‘ Have consistently high-performing Super 14 teams;

The final deadline for submissions was 22 February 2005 submissions were received from:

(i) The Sharks
(ii) The Blue Bulls Rugby Union;
(iii) Central South Africa, comprising Free State, Griqualand West and Griffons Rugby Unions;
(iv) The Golden Lions, Leopards and Mpumalanga Rugby Unions;
(v) Western Province Rugby Football and Boland Rugby Union;
(vi) Southern and Eastern Cape, comprising South Western Districts Rugby Football Union and Border Rugby Football Union.

Falcons Rugby Union did not summit a bid and was also not a party to any bid submitted.

The Panel had several meetings and discussions of the respective bids, site inspections were conducted and it was decided that, in view of substantial media and public interest, to hold final bid presentations in public. This took place on Wednesday, 6 April 2005 at the Newlands Rugby Stadium.

During the bid presentations, many questions of concern to the Panel were raised, and were discussed, and several propositions were put to bid presenters at various stages of their presentations. What struck the Panel was that the Southern and Eastern Cape Region represented some 43% of SA Rugby’s registered players, in particular Black African players; and that the Boland Rugby Union represented a vast rural area comprising the most rugby clubs in the country. It became clear to the panel that SA Rugby must put special measures in place to realize the hopes and aspirations of the rugby-loving community in these areas.

BID AWARDS

The Panel recommended that the franchises for Super 14 Rugby be offered to the following Regions:

REGION 1

‘ Western Province Rugby Football Union, Boland Rugby Union and South Western Districts Rugby Football Union;

REGION 2

‘ KwaZulu Natal Rugby Union and Border Rugby Union;

REGION 3

‘ Free State Rugby Union, Griqualand West Rugby Union and Griffons Rugby Union

REGION 4

‘ Golden Lions Rugby Union, Mpumalanga Union, Leopards Rugby Union and Falcons Rugby Union;

REGION 5

‘ Blue Bulls Rugby Union and Eastern Province Rugby Union.


However, it is recommended that the offers to Regions be made on, amongst other, the following conditions:

(i) The franchises are offered to the Regions for a period of three years subject to annual reviews;

(ii) SA Rugby reserves the right to decide on the award of the five franchises for the remaining two years of the Super 14 Competition. SA Rugby will exercise such right by no later than six months prior to the conclusion of the Super 14 rugby season in 2008.

(iii) Each Region must present to SA Rugby within 45 days of the date of acceptance of the offer, a Management Plan to be devised by agreement between the parties concerned. The purpose of the Management Plan is to ensure that SA Rugby builds and strengthens the capacity of the smaller unions. The plans must also ensure that meaningful transformation occurs at management, administrative, coaching, development and player levels.

(iv) The selection and composition of the regional squads, the selection of regional coaches, and the selection of regional teams shall be made in conjunction with SA Rugby, the National Coach and the National Selectors.

The aforementioned conditions will ensure that the transformation objectives of the Southern and Eastern Cape Region are nevertheless met in that, amongst other:

‘ The Region will enjoy Super 14 Rugby.
‘ Most importantly at least 20 Black African players will get exposure to play in the Super 14 competition and at least 25 players of colour will be able to utilize their skills thereafter in the ABSA Currie Cup.
‘ There would be a moratorium on Black African players moving to other regions other than for bona fide or family reasons, and in any event only with the concurrence of SA Rugby acting in consultation with the player and/or SARPA.

Mr Brian Van Rooyen, SA Rugby president, expressed his sincere appreciation to the panel for their sterling work in this regard.

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