“Vrystaat!” That was a supporters chant that used to be a popular identifier of SA rugby culture and of Free State’s status as everyone’s second-favourite team, but that sadly has started to recede from memory and is now threatened with extinction.

The Cheetahs were granted recognition as SA’s fifth franchise when the decision was taken recently to make official the quest for the top four franchises to join what will become the PRO16 in the 2021/2022 northern hemisphere season...

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