SARU mum on Kings' future
Johannesburg - The SA Rugby Union (SARU) is expected to decide on next season's Super Rugby conference structure at a rescheduled general council meeting on August 16.
SARU said on Tuesday it would not comment on media reports suggesting the original decision to hand the Southern Kings a spot in next year's competition had been scrapped.
"This is clearly an important issue of wide interest," SARU CEO Jurie Roux said in a statement.
"But the decision rests with the general council and until they have made that decision it serves no purpose to become involved in speculation on any scenarios."
Roux said unsourced reports on the Kings' exclusion were "purely speculative".
Eastern Province rugby president Cheeky Watson denied earlier in the week that the Kings had agreed to accept money in exchange for their spot in the 2013 SA conference of the cross-continental franchise competition.
"The report that we have agreed to accept R40 million and will forgo our right to inclusion in the Super Rugby competition until 2016 is news to me," Watson said in a statement.
"We have said that we are prepared to negotiate the best way for the Southern Kings to enter the Super Rugby competition, but these details have never been on the table."
A unanimous decision was taken by all 14 provinces at a SARU general meeting in January to award the Kings one of five available places in next season's SA conference.
Sanzar, which organises the Super Rugby competition, confirmed later there would be no place for a sixth team in the 2013 season, and if Saru included the Kings, they would need to make a space available within their own conference.
Among the proposals to accommodate the Eastern Cape union include a promotion/relegation format, with the bottom team in the 2012 competition, the Lions, dropping out.
Acting Lions CEO Ruben Moggee called earlier this month for the SARU general council to find a solution. He said they had already weighed up other options in case they were relegated from Super Rugby.
"It is an untenable situation from the timing perspective," Moggee said.
"We find ourselves in mid-July and the decision is not clear yet. We are continuing to contract and recruit players for next year and looking at our juniors.
"We've not given up, so looking at where we want to be. We want to have a competitive squad."