South Africa is set to wield its unflinching power yet again to ensure Singapore’s bid for the 18th Super Rugby team is approved ahead of Japan.
We can reveal that the Singaporean bid has surged ahead as the likely 18th team, with South Africa’s teams howling down calls for a Japanese team because of excessive travel.
The team from Singapore will be known as the Asia Pacific Dragons, and there is even talk that All Black legend Tana Umaga could be their inaugural coach.
It is expected to feature a heavy smattering of Pacific Island players.
South Africa is opposed to playing in Japan because there are no direct flights between the countries and travel would take up to 23 hours one way.
SARU is arguing that its teams would be at a significant disadvantage by losing two days just in flying back and forth, while their players would be more prone to exhaustion and less likely to recover from injury if forced to sit for an entire day on planes.
By contrast, Singapore can be reached in 11 hours.
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