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SARU delays decision on Spears Super 14 participation

The South African rugby union had planned to announce their decision on when or if the Southern Spears will join the Super 14 next year. Instead of making their decision public today they have released the following statement where theysay we can expect an answer on Friday.

The SA Rugby Board of Directors today held a meeting to discuss the readiness of the Southern Spears franchise to participate in the 2007 Vodacom Super 14 competition.

The meeting discussed the Southern Spears issue at length, taking into account submissions from the recent SA Rugby fact-finding mission; a presentation by the Chairman of the Board of the Spears franchise; and input from various stakeholders.

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The Board decided not to announce a decision before receiving further input from the meeting of the Presidents of the Provincial Unions, scheduled to take place in Cape Town on Thursday April 20.

‘It is important to note that the decision on the Spears franchise is within the context of the competitions structure SA Rugby will adopt in the near future,’ said Board Chairman, Mpumelelo Tshume. ‘It would be unfair to all parties concerned not to take into account the outcome of the Thursday meeting.

‘It is for that reason that we are so keen to receive input from that structure. We have to emerge with a decision that takes into account the total picture of the South African rugby environment.’

Tshume reiterated a statement made earlier by SA Rugby Union President, Oregan Hoskins, that the rugby governing body would not make hasty decisions on the matter without examining all the relevant factors. ‘Mr Hoskins put it correctly when he said the process will require a lot of research and time, precisely because the ultimate decision is one we will not take lightly or in a haphazard fashion.’

It is expected that the final decision on the Southern Spears’ participation in next year’s Vodacom Super 14 will be made, and announced, on Friday April 21 – at a formal media conference.

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