Herman Mostert

Kings must play Currie Cup!

2013-12-10 13:16
Herman Mostert (File)
If the Eastern Province Kings are going to play Super Rugby from 2016, it’s in the best interests of South African rugby to have them playing in the Currie Cup Premier Division.

After the proposal to expand the Currie Cup to eight teams in 2014 was withdrawn before being put to vote at a SARU Special General Council Meeting last Friday, it appeared as though the status quo of six teams in the top flight will remain for next season.

However, new reports on Tuesday suggested that the Kings may gain automatic promotion in what could still be an eight-team Currie Cup in 2014.

That would be the right call in my book.

While I’m all for playing yourself into a position where you gain automatic qualification - something the Kings sadly have not done in recent years - I do believe they should be playing at least some sort of top flight rugby.

It’s no secret that the men from PE will be added to an expanded Super Rugby competition from 2016, when a new TV broadcast deal comes into effect, so the sooner they start playing at a higher level, the better for South African rugby as a whole.

They did relatively well in their debut Super Rugby season this year but were relegated when the Lions pipped them in a promotion-relegation series.

They then failed to finish top of the First Division standings as a rampant Pumas side forced their way into the Currie Cup.

The Kings hardly boast a track record for a team that deserves any favours, but perhaps SARU should look back into the past when a fairly similar “tricky” situation played itself out.

Natal - as the Sharks were then known - were another of the so-called big unions struggling to get out the B-section in the mid-1980s. They would win the B-section only to lose promotion-relegation matches against Northern Free State on a few occasions.

The then SA Rugby Board (SARB) was eager to see Natal play in the top division and decided to expand the six-team Currie Cup to eight to allow them automatic entry.

SARB wanted a major city like Durban to have a team in the A-Section, as they realised South African rugby would benefit having Natal there.

Since 1987 the Natalians have not dropped out of the top flight and when they stunned Northern Transvaal at Loftus to win the Currie Cup for the first time in their history in 1990, it signalled the start of a golden era for rugby in the region.

Just imagine where the Sharks would have been today if they weren’t added to the Currie Cup back then? The brand name Sharks would probably not have existed and they'd still be called the Banana Boys!

For that reason I think it’s wise for the powers that be to look at South African rugby as a whole and realise that having six strong franchises is better than five. The last thing SARU wants is for the Kings to still be playing B-section rugby over the next few years before being added to the Super Rugby mix.

Therefore, getting the Kings up to a better level - at least Currie Cup level - would surely be of benefit to South African rugby…

Herman Mostert works at Sport24 - and fancies himself as a bit of a tennis player and rugby writer...

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.


VC fight – A time to learn

2014-04-17 11:30


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs

Do you think the Springboks can possibly win the 2015 Rugby World Cup with 60% black representation?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.