Cheetahs not fond of merging

2011-11-29 07:50
Harold Verster (File)
Cape Town - President of the Free State Cheetahs, Harold Verster, says it is unlikely that the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings will merge at the start of the 2013 Super Rugby season.

WIN a Signed Springbok RWC Jersey

Verster, also the CEO of the Cheetahs Company told the Volksblad newspaper they are confident that the central union will survive as an entity of its own in future.

This comes after apparent rumours that the Cheetahs and Kings could merge to form one franchise in 2013. The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has to accommodate the Eastern Cape side in Super Rugby from 2013 onwards and the merging with the Cheetahs is apparently an option.

However, Verster believes the Cheetahs have a strong case to remain as a franchise and has denied talks of an amalgamation with the Kings.

"There's a lot of uncertainty regarding 2013. The chances that the Cheetahs will survive are better than what people think.

"There's no mention that we and the Kings will merge," said Verster.
Verster said the Cheetahs are the only truly South African regional team as they comprise of three unions: The Griffons, Free State and Griquas. The Cheetahs have used a fair amount of Griquas' players in recent years, while the other unions mainly used players from one union (i.e. as they play in the Currie Cup).

Verster noted that there's only one franchise which represents the central part of South Africa, also noting that the Bulls and the Lions are, for example, very close to each other.

He further warned that the Northern Cape and Free State governments are firmly behind the Cheetahs' existence in Super Rugby.

Verster believes it is logistically impossible for the Cheetahs and Kings to merge. "There are few flights between Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth and you can't drive 650km every time.

"We previously played with the Lions for the Cats, but it didn't work due to logistical problems," said Verster.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy 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
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

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


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

How will the Springboks fare in their three end of year tour Tests against England, Italy and Wales?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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