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Super Rugby adds sixth SA franchise

Sanzar (South African, New Zealand and Australian Rugby) and the South African Rugby Union have confirmed that a sixth franchise from the country will play in Super Rugby from 2016 onwards.

Super Rugby is currently made up of 15 teams, five from each of New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. South Africa’s Southern Kings franchise made its debut this year at the expense of fellow South African team the Lions, which regained its status for 2014 by defeating the Port Elizabeth-based side in a two-legged promotion-relegation play-off.

Following the franchise addition, a league playing format is being discussed, however the promotion-relegation system is likely to be retained for the next two seasons.

South African Rugby Union CEO Jurie Roux told SuperSport Blitz: “We have a sixth team in the competition, and that is a given. All the models that are being discussed work around a sixth team from South Africa being included. Obviously there are things that need to be sorted out and of course we want all of our partners to be happy with the product, but at least the sixth team is guaranteed.”