Currie Cup restructure on the cards
Cape Town - SA Rugby is looking to make major changes to the Currie Cup from next season.
CEO Jurie Roux said at the launch of the new-look PRO14 tournament in Cape Town on Friday that he hoped to have confirmation of the restructuring on August 29 following a franchise and non-franchise committee meeting.
The changes would likely see the tournament reduced from home and away fixtures in the group stages of competition to just one round of fixtures.
There has been concern over the current state of the Currie Cup with there being an overlap with Super Rugby this year while the inclusion of the Cheetahs in the PRO14 has also thrown a spanner into the works.
The Free Staters will have six instances this year where they have Currie Cup and PRO14 commitments on the same weekend, and Roux confirmed that SA Rugby would need to look at an alternative way of ensuring that the Currie Cup could be completed without becoming a diluted product.
"The reality of the Currie Cup is that it's the oldest competition in the world," he said.
"We are seriously considering the future of it and how to structure it in between these other competitions that we have.
"If you go global and to other continents in terms of your competitions there are always going to be sacrifices so possible sacrifices would be not having a double round but strength versus strength for a single round.
"It will be an interim period ... the global calendar is changing in 2021. There will be a massive change to the calendar in terms of how we are able to play and structure our competitions going forward."
Roux added that the Cheetahs would be prioritising PRO14 fixtures over Currie Cup fixtures this year.
"If it clashes with the PRO14, they are playing PRO14 that day ... that's where their commitment stands," he said.
With the Kings, who will be kicking off their Currie Cup first division campaign later this month, also joining PRO14 this year, Roux hoped that the competition would generate interest from South African rugby fans.
"I believe there will be some new interest in terms of there being different clubs ... it's not the same teams we're used to seeing," he said.