DECRYPTION – Five franchises will compete in the European Cups next season. To pave the way, in the short term, for the integration of the Springboks into the Six Nations Tournament. Explanations.
The controversy, the discontent, even, swelling, René Bouscatel, the president of the National Rugby League, hastened to send the hot potato back to the other side of the Channel. The starting point for the landing of South African franchises in Europe? The will of the leaders of the former Celtic League, a championship which pitted the Irish, Welsh and Scottish provinces against each other, as well as the Italian clubs.
“It was the Celts who recommended including the South Africans in their competition to raise the bar. The Irish dominated it very largely. This is how the United Rugby Championship was born two seasons ago, with the addition of four South African franchises: Cape Stormers, Pretoria Bulls, Durban Sharks and Johannesburg Lions .
Change not trivial
A year to see. A year to win. Strong to Strike. Last Saturday’s URC final pitted the Stormers against the Bulls, with the former winning 18-13. A last 100% South African act contested in the…