Cape Town - High-level discussions between Eastern Province
Rugby, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and the South African Rugby Players’
Association (SARPA) took place in Port Elizabeth on Thursday to review the
current and future financial stability of the union.
The talks stemmed from concerns over the recent delayed
payments to EP Kings players.
SARU President, Oregan Hoskins, SARU GM Operations and
Finance, Basil Haddad, and SARPA CEO Piet Heymans met EP Rugby officials.
Hoskins said he had full confidence in the current
leadership under EP Rugby President Cheeky Watson.
“We are aware of the financial challenges that EP Rugby are
facing and are fully confident that EP Rugby is in the process of addressing
these challenges,” he said.
“We have seen how, in the face of similar challenges earlier
in the year, EP Rugby were able to resolve the matter and that no player has gone
unpaid for any extended period of time,” said Hoskins.
Hoskins encouraged both business and rugby supporters to get
behind the Eastern Province Rugby Union in preparation for their re-entry to Super
Rugby next year.
“The Eastern Province region is still the cradle of black
rugby and the Kings Franchise will play a critical role in the development of
future black Springboks, which is instrumental to the transformation of the
sport as a whole,” said Hoskins.
He added that this fact was apparent in the demographics of
the EP Kings Under-19 side, which is currently top of the log of the Absa Under-19
A division, having won 10 of their 11 matches to date.
Heymans, who had visited EP Rugby in July over delayed
payment issues, said SARPA had engaged with both SARU and EP Rugby over the
issue of delayed payment.
“We will be taking the outcomes of these talks back to the
players and will be following up with EP Rugby again next week,” he said.
“We will continue to provide players with advice during this
period whilst monitoring the situation at the EP Kings. Our priority at this
time is the well-being of the players,” Heymans concluded.
Watson said he appreciated the fact that both SARU and SARPA
were prepared to engage with the union.
“We will not deny that there have been cash flow challenges
this year, but what is often overlooked is that we have always met these
challenges head on, and have been able to overcome them,” he said.
Watson said EP was acutely aware of the challenges that the
late payments caused and had always made arrangements to assist players where
“We are confident that the union will be in a strong
financial position going forward and that this will not repeat itself,” he