Kings, quotas create fireworks
EP v Boland (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Eastern Province Kings and SA Rugby's new proposed quota system caused for some fireworks at a SA Rugby Union (SARU) meeting at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Thursday.Beeld
reported on Wednesday that the Currie Cup Premier Division will be expanded to eight teams
from next season, mainly to accommodate the Kings.
However, due to their relegation from Super Rugby, the Kings were reportedly also bargaining for a permanent spot in the Currie Cup for at least the next two years - after they lost their Super Rugby status by losing a promotion-relegation series to the Lions last month.
Not all the unions are in favour of the Kings being assured of staying in the Currie Cup though, as it could see some of the bigger unions facing the risk of playing promotion-relegation games even if they finish ahead of the men from Port Elizabeth, while smaller unions in the First Division would find it extremely tough to gain promotion to the top tier.
So after much deliberation it was decided that the Kings would not be assured of a permanent spot in the Currie Cup, even though they are likely to be added to the eight-team competition next year.
Another hot topic for discussion was SARU's new proposed quota system for the Vodacom Cup. It was announced last month
that teams playing in the competition will be forced to field seven players of colour in their 22-man squads, with at least five players in the starting team. At least two of the seven will also have to be among the forwards.
The unions from the northern regions of the country are upset about the new ruling, and according to Beeld
, most of them voted against it, while teams from the south were mainly in favour of the ruling.
Southern teams like WP, Boland, Border, EP and SWD find it easier to field players of colour because they have a number of predominantly coloured clubs, while teams up north like the Pumas, Golden Lions, Blue Bulls, Leopards, Griffons etc. find it harder.
After a voting process, those in favour of the quota ruling had two more votes, which means it is likely to stay, despite the northern unions reportedly devising new plans to convince SARU otherwise...