Southern Kings target 2012
Port Elizabeth - South Africa’s Eastern Cape team the Southern Kings will be targeting 2012 as the year that they will have a team in the Super 15 after poor Super Rugby campaigns from the Lions and Cheetahs.
According to the Rugbyweek website, if plans by the South African and Border Rugby Unions come to fruition then the Lions or Cheetahs will be replaced by the Southern Kings in the Super 15 in 2012 which is sure to start a whole new internal fight within South African Rugby.
SARU officials committed themselves to this deadline in East London during a press conference to announce details of the Springboks' Test there in June against Italy.
The date will be the first time that East London will host a Test featuring a Six Nations team and the capacity of the stadium where the match will be played on June 26, will be increased to 15 000 people.
SARU officials say that they are taking transformation seriously as the area has always been the nursery for black players and supporters feel it now deserves a Super Rugby franchise.
Buntu Ondala, president of the Border Rugby Union says: "Our target is to say come 2012 and we will be saying: this is the team that we will be putting forward."
"But we are in the process of building it so we can say this is our team," he told the SABC.
The Lions have lost their last nine matches in a row and have not won a Super Rugby match since last year. They also have the worst defensive record in the tournament.
The Cheetahs have not faired much better and have the worst away record in the Super 14 which has led to talk about a promotion- relegation match for entry into the Super 15.
Speculation talk has the last placed South African team playing the Southern Kings for the fifth Super Rugby participation licence.
There are however no fixed plans whatsoever for this match and the Cheetahs and Lions appear to be entrenched in the Super 15 no matter how badly they fair.