in the Champions Cup, South African invaders who divide the Top 14

In Cape Town, in the semi-final of the United Rugby Championship on June 11, the Stormers got rid of the Irish of Ulster, after eliminating the Scots of Edinburgh in the quarter-finals on June 4. GALLO IMAGES/Getty Images via AFP

ANALYZE – Five franchises from South Africa will compete in the European Cups next season. If the symbolism is strong, and makes people cringe, sportingly, this new blood arouses curiosity. Debate.


A loss of identity

This is the main criticism made of the arrival of these South African provinces. How can we continue to talk about European cups when a franchise from Johannesburg, Pretoria or Durban can be crowned in May 2023 in Dublin? “I am not at all, at all, in favor of the arrival of South Africa. This is no longer the European Cup“, stings Vincent Merling, the president of Stade Rochelais crowned this season. Racing 92 captain Henry Chavancy is just as reluctant.

I don’t see it being constrained in a very good light. Just the idea of ​​telling me that the Stormers can be European champions, I find that surprising, a bit special. On a great competition and I understand that other countries or clubs want to join it. But I think it also risks distorting the interest or, in any case, the history of this competition…“The future Toulon manager, Pierre Mignoni, who is afraid of flying, goes further than his personal case to denounce this innovation…

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