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PRO14 SA Rugby president: Our players better off in northern hemisphere

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SA Rugby president Mark Alexander has fanned the flame of a possible mass exodus of South African rugby teams and players to the northern hemisphere, writes Sport24

Alexander was speaking at the 2018/19 PRO14 season launch in Glasgow, where he did not hold back in his assessment of where South African rugby was and where it could be heading.

The Kings and Cheetahs have already made the move up north, joining the PRO14 at the start of last season having been dumped from Super Rugby.

And, listening to Alexander on Wednesday, it seems like there could be more movement in the near future.

“It’s a long-term investment. We have options now and in future. At some point in time in future if we don’t want to stay in the south, we can move north,” Alexander said at the launch.

“Also, the PRO14 is a good competition for the players and coaches who are playing against tier one nations each weekend, except for England.

“When we become a full PRO14 member next season, we’ll be the only nation who plays in the north and the south, and the major benefit of playing in the northern hemisphere is the players are better off.

“With the structure of the PRO14 competition the way it is, it’s easier for travelling, with distances between places less than in the south, and the time zones are also better.

“When you consider player welfare and what’s best for them, then the north is better.”

It is believed that Griquas and the Pumas could be the next to make the move to Europe, possibly joining the PRO14 as early as next season.

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