A seventh, this time non-franchise, South African side will take part in an international tournament this year.
The “amateur” rugby union, the Valke, will play in the new rugby series, Rapid Rugby that is set to launch this year following a trial period with exhibition matches under the name World Series Rugby last year.
The Global Rapid Rugby matches are shorter than the traditional 80 minutes and have other variations from standard rugby laws that are intended to increase the speed of the game and the interest of the spectators.
The proof of the pudding was the relatively big crowds that attended their exhibition matches in Australia which in some cases were more than double those at Super Rugby matches.
The competition is the brain child of Australian billionaire Andre Forrest, and was devised after the Western Force rugby team ‒ based in Perth ‒ was dropped from the Australian Super Rugby Conference.
The Valke will be based in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. The other confirmed sides in the series are Western Force, Fiji, Samoa, Singapore and Hong Kong, wat another two to be announced soon..
The Valke lost the final of the Currie Cup First Division to the SWD Eagles last year, but according to Rapport, who carried the article on the Valke’s inclusion in the series this weekend, their coach Rudy Joubert is really upbeat about the venture and the challenge.
The Valke will be playing overseas for about four months, according to Rapport, and Joubert is confident that the experience gained against international opposition will stand his team in good stead when they return for the Currie Cup First Division series.