News24

Lions, Cheetahs to face axe?

2012-02-22 18:13

Johannesburg - Possible relegation from Super Rugby will be the strongest driving force for South Africa's five franchises in 2012, with the Lions and Cheetahs most in danger of extinction.

While the Stormers, Bulls and Sharks all have enough pedigree to make winning the tournament their priority, for the Lions and Cheetahs - who have just seven top-10 finishes between them in the 16 years of the SANZAR competition - it will be a desperate battle for survival.

The Eastern Cape-based Southern Kings have won promotion into Super Rugby next year in the South African Rugby Union (SARU) boardroom, meaning one of the current five franchises will have to make way for them.

The "big five" have called on SARU to prevent any of them being dropped by convincing SANZAR to make it a 16-team competition, but they are unlikely to win that battle with contracts signed with broadcasters and franchises through to the end of 2015.

The Johannesburg-based Lions managed a fairytale domestic Currie Cup triumph last year, but are currently in the midst of a financial crisis and a lack of top-class players could count against them in the more competitive and demanding southern hemisphere tournament.

Elton Jantjies, 21, emerged as a slick flyhalf who served a fluent backline well in last year's Currie Cup, but he and veterans Butch James (flyhalf) and CJ van der Linde (prop) are the only current Springboks in the Lions squad.

Lions coach John Mitchell is in a typically defiant mood, however.

"Our only concern is ourselves and our environment, not what other people are saying. We're just interested in our goals as a team, we're familiar with each other and that's something I believe we can bank on," the former All Blacks coach said on Wednesday.

The central Cheetahs franchise have a few more Springboks in their ranks but will go into the competition without the inspirational leadership of flanker Juan Smith, who is still battling an Achilles injury that also kept him out of last year's World Cup.

But in Heinrich Brüssow, the Cheetahs have one of the most effective fetchers in world rugby, and coach Naka Drotské said the flank would be his team's new inspiration.

"Heinrich does make a huge difference to our team and I am really looking forward to seeing him in action on the field. With his style of play, he encourages the other players to be aggressive and he will make a difference to any team," Drotske said.

The Cheetahs play the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday and, having lost their first four matches last year, Drotske said it was imperative they started well in 2012.

"In the past that was a major drawback for us. We lose a few games early in the season, which we should win, and last year there were several defeats. There is no doubt we want to get off to a better start," he said.

The Western Cape-based Stormers, winners of the South African Conference last year before being knocked out by the Crusaders in the semi-finals, will have to make do without the brilliance of Jaque Fourie at outside centre but the backline is still potent.

The Bulls, champions in 2007, 2009 and 2010, have undergone a changing of the guard with top names such as Fourie du Preez, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha and Danie Rossouw no longer involved.

That has created room for potential futures heroes such as Francois Hougaard, Juandre Kruger, Flip van der Merwe and Dewald Potgieter to take centre stage.

Commentators are also favouring the Sharks to make an impact with inconsistency, especially at home, to blame for their failure to make the semi-finals since 2008.

The presence of 16 Springboks in their squad suggests they have flattered to deceive, but the hunger to succeed in the likes of hooker Bismarck du Plessis - finally playing out of the shadow of John Smit - suggests they will be a force this year.

Reuters

Comments
  • Bullsrfairies - 2012-02-22 18:27

    We all know and agree that it will be the Stormers playing Vodacom next year. If you can't win it ONCE in 18 years of trying, well, BYE BYE.

      Bullsrpoofters - 2012-02-22 21:32

      Can't agree more

      Micah - 2012-02-23 11:06

      Do you believe the crap coming out of your keyboard. they should be a simple intelligence test on here before they let people comment.

      Michael - 2012-02-23 15:00

      @Micah - so then speak for yourself ! ! ! (sorry - but you left yourself wide open for that one!)

  • coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-22 18:34

    Who cares about the Stormers, Lions, Cheetahs and Bulls?? Sharks and Kings are my teams

      John - 2012-02-22 20:39

      popular comment there, pal

      Bullsrpoofters - 2012-02-22 21:30

      Pat your comment is almost as popular as Bulldozer's Clyde Rathbone faux pas

      John - 2012-02-22 21:34

      Ya, i mean you really screwed the pooch in coming out the closet as a Queens supporter.

      hugo.naude - 2012-02-22 23:36

      after reading this comment Pat I just wanted to puke all over my jersey ... I guess we will be seeing alot more puke on the field if the BEE politicians in SARU have their cheeky way ...

      Kevin - 2012-02-23 07:58

      Please do not mention the Kings in the same sentence as the wonderful Sharks. Kings do not deserve a place and who wants watson involved in this level of the game.

      Bulldozer - 2012-02-23 09:28

      The Kings deserve a S15 spot more than any other franchise. Stop being morons and accept the inevitable. LONG LIVE THE MIGHTY KINGS!!!!!!!

      Josh - 2012-02-23 11:15

      What an idiot!!!

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 12:39

      Who should I be supporting if I was born and bred in the Eastern Cape??

  • Bullsrpoofters - 2012-02-22 18:36

    Guys lets get serious for a minute. SARU should do what is best for rugby in South Africa and for the country as a whole. By dropping the Bulls from Super Rugby, the rest of the world won't have to be exposed to their supporters. Lets face it............if South Africa were to have an enema, they would have to stick a pipe up Pretoria.

      Bullsrfairies - 2012-02-22 18:54

      @poofter Brilliant post Can I copy and use it

      jean.rossouwsa - 2012-02-22 19:19

      Who will then win the S15 for SA??? Let me guess, WP...... hahahahahahahaha Bulls are the only team to win the S14 3 times and still regarded as pathetic by people like you, get a life.. no better support a real team!

      Bullsrpoofters - 2012-02-22 19:29

      Jean Jean Jean It is impossible for WP to win the Super15 because they are not playing in it. The Stormers however, stand the best chance of all the SA franchises. Do you see now what I mean about Bulls supporters. Do we really have to expose the world to you guys? The Kings will be less of an embarrasment.

      Bullsrfairies - 2012-02-22 19:42

      @poofter Op grond van wat?

      Rene - 2012-02-22 20:43

      @Bullsrpoofters, I understand your logic, because then only will the poor Stoemers have a slight teeny weeeeny chance of winning something hey!! It actually reminds me of SBW fighting against cripples - that's the only way he can win. Like the Stormers, take the danger man out ...... But not gonna happen, sorry for you!!!

      Bullsrpoofters - 2012-02-22 21:12

      I suppose you're right Rene. I mean the Bulls were the one team that stood in our way last year. If it wasnt for them we could've ended fifth on the log.

      Bullsrpoofters - 2012-02-22 21:31

      @Rene I'm just kidding you, even as a Stormers supporter I have to give it to you that the Bulls are hands-down the best Provincial team we have. I mean 3 Super cups vs ZERO of the Stormers

      Rene - 2012-02-22 22:14

      @BullsrBest (sorry don't like your name), fortunately I take 'most' comments with a pinch of salt. One thing I can handle is a 'Bulls bashing' joke - because that is all it is - a Joke!! We all know what the Bulls R really made off!!

  • jlouw1 - 2012-02-22 18:49

    Take note SARU - Drop the Lions & face Joburg's wrath. The "Super" Kings can bugger off to the Vodacom Cup for all I care. What a Mickey Mouse outfit...

      Jacques - 2012-02-23 00:06

      Look at where it comes from. First you start a team. Then you make Cheeky Watson the President since he is political. Then you take his son Luke Watson who said he wants to throw up on the springbok team Jersey and make him Captain. Now what is interesting is seeing who the shareholders are... Also it will be interesting to see who the stadium sharholders will be. All in all how can you drop a team from Super 15 if the Southern Kings have not even proven them selves in the Curry cup. Also what happened to the qualifying tournament that was suggested. The last position of SA teams should have played against the Southern kings in a tournament each year to see who qualified. Waht ever happens if the Kings replaces the last positioned team that team will be ruined and that is bad for Rugby. Personaly i would join the cheetahs and the Lions again into the cats. I dont like The Southern Kings set up and fiasco with presidency and mamas boy captain but i also understand this part of the country should be represented. That however said it should be through qualification

      Michael - 2012-02-23 09:57

      @Jacques - you cannot have the Cheetahs and the Lions join - in is simply impractical - how the hell are they supposed to train? Are they to commute by plane every day? Silly suggestion!

  • Carelle Van der Merwe - 2012-02-22 19:00

    Hi guys! Join the cause! STOP THE KINGS! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Petition-to-STOP-the-Kings-and-Saru-from-ruining-Super-rugby/113520615439487

      Dick - 2012-02-22 19:23

      Ek's in Dozer.

      Bullsrfairies - 2012-02-22 19:43

      @Bull Ek sal betaal om die goed uit te stem

      Dick - 2012-02-22 20:05

      Dozer,,,, LOL :)

      clivegoss - 2012-02-23 06:36

      STOP WHAT? They will get STOPPED (and STOMPED) in every game they participate in.! ! Let us STOP SARU from embarrasing all South African rugby supporters

  • Jack - 2012-02-22 19:07

    Flip v/d Merwe is a penalty waiting to be awarded. If I was Ludeke, I'd look elsewhere for a replacement to Matfield. Funny thing is that relegation will make the SA teams play their hearts and souls out this year...gonna be an awesome season!

      Bullsrfairies - 2012-02-22 19:16

      @jack And poor Stormers that has to play in the Vodacom next year. JOKERS OF WORLD RUGBY

  • Ignatius - 2012-02-22 19:15

    Hoekom nie? Hulle het nog nooit goed gedoen nie. Laat hierdie ouens nou maar oor neem en net so sleg doen. Die meeste of beste van daai twee groepe gaan in elk geval dan gekoop word deur die kings

      Johan - 2012-02-23 08:10

      Assumption, my son, is the mother of all Ignatiuse !!

  • jean.rossouwsa - 2012-02-22 19:16

    Relegation means the team that ends last must play for a spot against the Southern Kings , isn't THAT how it's supposed to work???

      Michael - 2012-02-23 09:59

      Yea - home and away games!

      Champ - 2012-02-23 14:56

      Assuming that there will be such a playoff, one can only hope as this would effectively imply that the Kings will only play in next year’s super 15 and never again.

  • Ronnie - 2012-02-22 19:16

    Reading this article gives me heart-burn why oh why try to discredit the Lions Journalist have and are already playing the finals with either the Sharks and the Stormers.The Stormers are the worst but are being polished by the Journalist they are the worst sportsmen have you forgotten the bad taste after they lost the Currie cup Burger did not even shake hands with Strauss .The Lions have sorted there finances Kevin de Klerk is on top of it.

      Mark - 2012-02-22 21:46

      News 24 must be Cape Town based or should i say biased

  • Carelle Van der Merwe - 2012-02-22 19:17

    Hi guys! Join the cause! STOP THE KINGS! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Petition-to-STOP-the-Kings-and-Saru-from-ruining-Super-rugby/113520615439487

      Dick - 2012-02-22 19:29

      No!!!!!! I can still tolerate the Kings. Rather join Dozer's cause to stop the stormers from playing rugby ever. Like he said, They are a disgrace to mankind

  • Nico - 2012-02-22 19:33

    all 5 current teams are safe, sanzar partners (including broadcasters) will stop the kings, not enough ppl in EC watching pay-tv for them to make it worthwhile. it will all come down to the money, so until EC is an economic powerhouse in the country on at least the same level as pofadder, not gonna happen.

      Marius - 2012-02-22 19:59

      Dream on Nico. The current franchise licences which all expire at the end of this year, can be awarded by SARU for next year to any union they choose to, using whatever criteria they choose to use. NO sponsor, broadcaster or any other outside agency has any say in the matter.

      Nico - 2012-02-22 20:11

      hahahaha Marius, so you think that Rupert Murdock that bought the TV rights for about 1bn Rand will not have in the contract that he has a say over which teams play??? Leave the emotion aside and just think for a bit, the broadcasters were able to cancel a 6 nations match two weeks ago, they have the power.

      Marius - 2012-02-22 21:40

      @Nico. You are the one commenting with emotion. am just mentioning the hard facts. Furthermore,by using your reasoning, Rupert Murdoch should then also have the right to choose which players should play in the Springbok team in the tri-nations or he would cancel the game. Not going to happen. Also , the 6 nations game you mentioned that was cancelled , was because the field was frozen solid and the possibility of serious injury to the players was a huge concern to the management of the two teams and was therefore cancelled for that reason only by them and the competition committee, not the broadcasters. They did not have a say in the matter at all.

      Marius - 2012-02-23 07:50

      @Nico. Read this article written by an impartial observer. He doesn't agree, nor disagree about the merits of the Kings inclusion, but just states the facts. It describes the real situation about the allocation of the franchise licences, perfectly. http://www.ruggaworld.com/2012/02/12/superugby-dilemma-is-bad-news-for-lions/

  • Andrew - 2012-02-22 19:38

    Absolutely absurd. The Kings are a polically driven promotion. Look at their recent showings against the Lions and Stormers. It is time politics is removed from sport and let them play each other for relegation or promotion. But that of course is RSA politics for you. What I can't win on merit let the politicians interfere with.

      Manus - 2012-02-22 21:37

      It's not just politics and politicians. It's what happens when a professional sport is being run by amateurs in the boardroom.

  • haynerob - 2012-02-22 19:41

    Last year was last year with both the Lions and the Cheetahs on the rise. As an impartial observer, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Stormers coming last in 2012. Loads of bad karma there!!!

      Bullsrpoofters - 2012-02-22 19:48

      haynerob with a face like that you should lock yourself in a karma, throw the key away and dont come out ever again.

      Bullsrpoofters - 2012-02-22 21:33

      @hayne Just having some fun with you. No team like the Bulls

  • Craig - 2012-02-22 20:05

    SA Rugby needs a shakeup in the Super rugby format, is this not this the answer. Lions may have won currie cup in a world cup year (lots of players not playing due to World cup commitments or coming late in the tournament), Cheetahs have shown promise but lose players due to financial constraints. Maybe this is a time to apply the New Zealand approach, contract players centrally then through various criteria create the necessary squads. SA sides have only won this competition twice, once when NZ "rested"players. We are simply weak in Super rugby. This may create a system of strength!! Sharks have shown that over that of many years ( a few hiccups along the way).

      Nico - 2012-02-22 20:14

      Hi Craig, the NZ approach is not the answer, NZ rugby is bankrupt, at least here we have a few strong franchises and have three competitive teams, with the Lions and Cheetahs slowly getting there as well. The only thing I think that will work is to go to a Super9 scenario where we only have three teams competing, the top 3 in the CC, and have a bigger local CC again where all the unions play. Make it more difficult for the bigger unions to poach players, and we will start building strenght in the smaller unions.

      Bullsrfairies - 2012-02-22 20:17

      @Craig The Bulls alone has won it 3 times. I feel like assaulting you with a blunt object man

      Adriaan Beukes - 2012-02-23 12:17

      Craig you must have been blind, as the Lions were triumphant in the CC Cup against a Springbok stared Western Province and Sharks team as all there players returned from World Cup Duty were the dismally dropped the Country. Lions peaked on the right time. Who do you support.

  • Terry - 2012-02-22 20:49

    So, a side that can't make it in to Currie Cup Quarter Finals should be given a spot in the Super 15?...

      Bullsrpoofters - 2012-02-22 21:24

      Terry you sound like you slept next to somebody who knows a little bit about rugby.

      Bullsrpoofters - 2012-02-22 21:34

      @Terry Or even worse, a team that can't win a trophy in 18 years of trying?

      hugo.naude - 2012-02-22 23:30

      or a team that has not won a cup in 11 yrs (going to be 12 this yr) of trying and the only team in super rugby history that has lost a semi @ home ... twice!!!

  • Blaine Dillon - 2012-02-22 20:55

    After the Super15 this year, let them play for it. If the "kings" can win a game against the last SA team, they can replace them. I just see no point in replacing the current 5 with a team that doesn't even play Currie Cup.

      Bullsrfairies - 2012-02-22 21:02

      @Blaine But the Kings will still be less of an embarrassment than the Stormers

      Blaine Dillon - 2012-02-22 21:04

      Hahaha also true

      Bullsrpoofters - 2012-02-22 21:34

      I have to admit we're playing Vodacom cup next year

      Champ - 2012-02-23 14:57

      Assuming that there will be such a playoff, one can only hope as this would effectively imply that the Kings will only play in next year’s super 15 and never again.

  • Anthony - 2012-02-22 21:10

    This is such political BS. They have to keep the Lions in super 15, just change the name to the Lion Kings

  • Bullsrpoofters - 2012-02-22 21:32

    Bulle is BAAS!!! GO DIE BLOU! 4TH CUP COMING UP

  • Marius - 2012-02-22 21:58

    The Lions had 16 years in Super Rugby. With the annual 40 million that they have received as their share of the tv rights money, that alone comes to over 500 million rand. On top of that they still had apart from their own sposorship deals which they could negotiate, because their sponsors would be guaranteed tv exposure and they still have never done better than 10th place ever. If they couldn't do better with all that money and the time they have had, they never will. If Super Rugby was run by SARU on pure business principles only , the Lions would have been kicked out years ago and someone else given the money and the chance to see if they could do better..

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 12:47

      Very true Marius. Not sure why so many thumbs down?? it makes complete sense

  • karsten.kaminski - 2012-02-22 23:49

    It's my RIGHT, I WANT, I WANT. I WANT.... I DON'T HAVE TO EARN THIS PRIVILEGES NEH!

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 12:46

      Who is this directed to?Kings or Lions?

  • Patrick - 2012-02-23 02:03

    both of them should be dropped!!!!

      Josh - 2012-02-23 12:24

      You were dropped on your head!!

  • brionyl.french - 2012-02-23 05:52

    Okay but the teams wanting to so eagerly join are bottom feeders worse than the bigger unions, Why are they trying to make our rugby look bad? B teams need to realise they cant contend in A leagues

  • Rudi - 2012-02-23 06:43

    Why don't we first see how the Kings do in the currie cup. How can you drop the Cheetahs or the Lions when both these sides beat the kings in the warm up games.

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 12:14

      Thats a great idea which the whole of the EC would agree on if it was done 5 years ago when promised. We are not going to wait another 5 to finally play Super Rugby The Cheetahs and Lions played teams from the SWD/Border regions Sharks/Stormers played the EP Region All 3 regions make up the Southern Kings

  • franco.raffa - 2012-02-23 07:06

    It's unfair that the kings will join super rugby when they can't even win their local division.

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 12:10

      quick question Franco..who are the kings you are referring to?

      hugo.naude - 2012-02-23 14:51

      @Patrick Cawood ... I believe Franco is refering to that misnamed team of wannaBEE rugby players who play from PE and claims to have some rugby pedigree (of their own making) in their team, that group who had to import someone to captain the side that feels very little for SA rugby (thus he pukes on the BOK jersey) and now wants to captain a team in the most demanding international provincial competition --- a team who have NOT been able to win the 1st division (NOT Premier - where they would be utterly lost) for all the yrs they have competed in that division ... Just what would this team of no-name brands really bring to the super rugby arena?? Have teams like the Lions and the Stormers (who by the way have not won a rugby trophy in 11yrs and in still the only team in Srugby history that have LOST A Srugby SEMI @HOME - TWICE) not done enough damage to our reputation as a rugby nation ... Do u want the Queens to further inflict pain on the SA viewing public and bring joy to our opponents - since they know what easy point awaits them in playing your queens!! I believe that is the team Franco is refering to ...

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 17:42

      @ Hugo...maybe you should spend more time finding out what the plans are for the Kings for 2012 and 2013. Do you really think they current EP Kings team will be the team representing the EC in 2013???? If you think that then you like so many others on here are completely clueless The Kings have a R50m sponsor lined up and with the R40m that the franchise gets through TV rights will achieve allot more than some of the current bunch Luke Watson is a great player and would start in all 5 South African Super Rugby Teams. Luke has chose to come home and help the region realise it's dreams. The SA media made Luke public enemy no 1 and though I dont agree what he said as a whole some of his comments made complete sense. SA rugby has been run by a bunch of arrogant, racist, power hungry and sometimes clueless bunch. Who seriously need to take a look at themselves and start running this major money making show as a well run business. This whole Kings thing is a mess and should of been sorted out 5 years ago. Not a rush job with the EC getting all the blame

  • Kevin - 2012-02-23 07:54

    Never support Kings and Watson .

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 12:09

      I guess that's because you are not from the EC Why should the EC supporters keep supporting the Sharks/Bulls/Stormers?

      Josh - 2012-02-23 12:31

      @Patrick I know you guys from the EC want your team in the compitition but do you realy think that is the best for SA rugby to drop one of the 5 best unions in South Africa to make way for the Kings?

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 12:50

      Yes, badly planned by SARU but the Kings cant do worse than the Lions have. Give them 5 years and if they are no better than the Lions then I will eat my humble pie I bet the region produces 5-10 Boks in the next 5 years

      hugo.naude - 2012-02-23 14:57

      @Patrick Cawood .... 5 REAL Springboks?? Or 5 BEE Springboks?? as to your question ..."Why should the EC supporters keep supporting the Sharks/Bulls/Stormers?" until u have a team that compete with these boys u should be willing to support the teams that ARE competitive ... But this might be tooo much for you to understand without a dop in your hand ... so go get one and then try again...

      Michael - 2012-02-23 15:08

      @PatricCawood - why do they have to support either of the SA Super15 teams - they could start up a jukskei team and then support them?

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 17:51

      @ Hugo the Kings will be competitive come 2013, just wait and see. Why should the other unions get R50m a year Bulls/Stormers/Sharks yes, Lions/Cheetahs..why do they deserve it more than the EC So you saying the EC does not produce any quality players??here are a few for you to chew on while drinking your klippies Zane Kirchner,Lwazi Mvovu, JJ Engelbrecht, Bjorn Basson,Elton Jantjies, Rory Kockott, Ryan Kankowski, Siya Kolisi, Jacques Potgieter, Keegan Daniel, Dewalt Potgieter, Luke Watson, Ryno Gerber, Bandisa Maku, Micheal Killian , Odwa & Akona Ndungane, Jongi Nokwe, Kabamba Floors , Deon Stegmann, Lionel Mapoe, JP Joubert, Fabian Juries, Tim Whitehead

  • Fanie - 2012-02-23 08:33

    Bullsrpoofters. I am a stormers supporter. Why do you sink so low about Patric's sister. No sir I do NOT like what you said. Maybe you did not have a mother . I found that people like you came from the sewers and that their mothers are rats.

  • Tim - 2012-02-23 09:02

    This is terrible for SA rugby. What will happen to the Springboks in the team that is dropped? Their standard will lower and Springbok rugby will depreciate. Also, what happens if the sharks, bulls or stormers have a sudden nightmare tournament, does it mean we won't be seeing them next year? SARU really has lost the plot on this call

      Bulldozer - 2012-02-23 09:15

      Tim the Springbok team already depreciated with Meyer's appointment.

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 12:08

      Sorry Tim you make no sense... How many Boks in the Lions Team?? Last time I hecked is was ZERO

      Josh - 2012-02-23 12:34

      Patrick you seem confident that the Lions will be the ones that get the wooden spoon. Just shows what you know about Rugby!

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 17:53

      @ Josh, if SARU has any brains they will take the last 5 years results not only 2012 Show how much you know about how things usually work...

  • Andre - 2012-02-23 09:37

    Saru is like the cricket authorities-they can not concentrate and are falling for political pressure.The Kings can not even compete against a school side,but Saru wants them to be in-can you imagine the embarresment of them playing in the super 15?-record scores against them and the laughing stock of the world-rather put Grey College of Bloemfontein or Affies in Pta or Bishops in Cape Town or Monument in Krugersdorp to play in the super 15 as they will all do better than the Kings.The lack of concentration by Saru,is costing them viewership and money-as the years go on,they are getting worse.

  • Gert - 2012-02-23 09:43

    There should not be automatic religation, The Kings must play off against the the side that ends last. The Kings got a 64 point drubbing by Boland in the 2nd division final, how do they want to play in the Super 15. I smell a political rat and that is wrong. Mr Watson get your house in order and things will happen by itself, stop running like a little kid to the rugby union, show us on the field that you can do it, it is the same way your son became a bok, he never deserved to be one.

      Marius - 2012-02-23 11:44

      @Gert. Insisting on a promotion/relegation game at the end of the year is not a realistic solution, because the playing fields are not level. Another option is to keep the existing 5 franchises, but for this year and next year, divide the SARU share of the TV money by 6 not 5 and give the Kings the 6th share to enable them to build their own squad over the next 2 years with a similar budget and then let them play that promotion/relegation game at the end of next year. It will only mean a difference of 7 million each to the existing franchises, a relatively small sacrifice for a guarantee to stay in the competition for at least one more year. They will each still be getting a guaranteed 35 million a year, so no big loss to them, but a huge gain for rugby in the EC and SARU.

      Champ - 2012-02-23 15:00

      Assuming that there will be such a playoff, one can only hope as this would effectively imply that the Kings will only play in next year’s super 15 and never again.

  • AntonBvanWyk - 2012-02-23 10:35

    I read all you guys comments and allot of it is just plain stupid. If you can't talk rugby in a objective and respectful manner don't talk at all as you are a disgrace to mankind. The team at the bottom of SR season should play a qualifier to stay in SR for the following year. To just push the Kings in is a mistake they will loose every single game and will make SA rugby look bad, I mean they can't even get into the CC how on earth are they going to win any game in SR. There has to be a qualifier rather than pushing teams into SR. I agree that the Lions and Cheetahs has to be careful as they are regulars at the bottom of SR.

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 13:30

      Anton, your comment makes absolute no sense Please go back and think before writing on here First of all the Southern Kings have last played in 2009 as a team so not sure how they can/cant make the Currie Cup.Are you referring to the EP Kings? Promotion/Relegation - thats not how Franchises work and it is not possible. Things cant get any worse for SA rugby so why not add another region and see if things improve over the next 5 years then speak again

      AntonBvanWyk - 2012-02-23 14:45

      @Patrick Cawood: I was referring to the Ep Kings my apologies. Please see this article http://www.ruggaworld.com/2012/02/23/franchises-wants-an-answer-from-saru/ Nowhere in this article do they refer to Super Kings being made up of SWB/Border players. Quote from article: "The Kings have, as expected, also dug their heels in and insisted it is their turn to dine at the Super Rugby table. Eastern Province Kings President Cheeky Watson says it is not their problem about how SARU plans to accommodate the big five next year. “All I know is that SARU has already decided that we [the Kings] will play in the Super Rugby series next year,” Watson told Die Burger newspaper. “We are very grateful for that. We fought long for it. It’s not in our hands who the other teams are that will participate in the Super Rugby series. “It’s SARU and the other SA franchises’ problem,” said Watson." My understanding is that it will be Super 16 in 2013.

  • tony.mckeever - 2012-02-23 11:07

    Here are the legal and financial reasons the Kings will be unable to be admitted into Super Rugby's Super 15 until after this deal with broadcasters and sponsors has run its course. The SANZAR broadcast with Newscorp, Sky & SuperSport & country (3) sponsorship deals are set and in place from 2011-2015 Any deviation from this puts SANZAR in breach of these Similarly all 15 franchises in the tournament have sponsorship deals that mirror the SANZAR deals from 2011-2015. These are with: the host stadium of the franchise Players Sponsors, Advertisers, Suite Holders and Season ticket holders The value of these deals is R30m per annum 4. The Southern Kings proposed entry into Super 15 - Mark Alexander was flying a kite proposing Super 16 - in 2013 just does not end in 2013 but the years 2014 and 2015 need to also be taken into consideration as this now effects the entire South African conference at R30m a year for 3 years excluding any legal litigation injunction and damages claims any of the contracted parties will have against the franchise sitting out. 5. That is a collective loss of R30m per annum for 3 years of around R100m that will decimate South African Rugby and bring it to its knees.

      Marius - 2012-02-23 11:32

      Only one problem with your reasoning and that is that not a single SA franchise has a legally binding franchise licence from 2013 yet, as all existing licences expire at the end of this year and none has been allocated yet, so how could the franchises have make these deals using something they don't have, as guarantee.

  • Hugh - 2012-02-23 11:23

    SARU, since youre determined to bow to Watsons political influance, be a frikking man and qulaify to play Super rugby!. Let Watsons cronies play out against the team being religated then. Beat them and then prove they're worthy. Lose to them, then back off your unsubstansiated kings claim to the rights to play SR.

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 12:07

      What has all of this got to do with Cheeky Watson? The whole of the EC want Super Rugby and just because he is the chairman does it mean he is trying swindle a dodgy license???

  • coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 12:21

    When are all of you out there going to realise that the Southern Kings will be made of up players of EP/SWD/Border squad players, academy players, players from abroad(hopefully mainly ex EC) , players who out of contract and a few possible current Springboks. The warm up games so far have been a mix of players from all 3 regions, off those players around 10-15 will make up the Southern Kings Squad next season.Only 8 EP players currently have contracts that go into 2013 The warm up games against the Lions and Cheetahs were against SWD/Border players. The Stormers/Sharks games were played against the EP Kings. In saying that next years team will be about 300% better than what you currently see. Seems like non of you understand this....Do you really think that Alan Solomons and co are that stupid?

      hugo.naude - 2012-02-23 13:01

      YES!!

      Michael - 2012-02-23 15:16

      We don't have to think - we KNOW!

      Champ - 2012-02-23 15:20

      @ patrick: And the EP Kings did not loose to the Bulls but to the Vodacom Blue Bulls U/21 B team?

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 18:34

      @ Champ - and your point is? The EP Kings wont be the team representing the Southern Kings in 2013 Why dont you write down who is currently in the squad then do the same this time next year and see how different they will be

      Champ - 2012-02-24 09:20

      @ Patrick: I think anybody can see that the team playing now and the one that will play in 2013 will be very different. It will be the case for most of the provinces. For the Kings it will be both in terms of who play and how well they perform. My point Patrick, is that you can not see (don't want to see?) that the game against the Bulls was labeled in the media as a game between the Bulls and the Kings. The game against the Lions was a game between the Lions and the Kings. In the pre-season it was announced that the KINGS will face the "Big Five". So when a union or franchise fields a team in a game advertised as being between that union and another team, you ARE playing whoever that banner represents. I know that it must hurt to have suffered such a big loss, but it happened. And if I have to be 100% honest, I hope for the sake of South African rugby, it doesn't happen again. Please also see my post February 23, @ 15:33

  • coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 13:23

    The last time the SOUTHERN KINGS played as a team they lost 20 - 8 to the British Lions The same team who beat the Lions 74-10......

      Josh - 2012-02-23 15:42

      Do not compare the Lions and the Kings. We won the currie cup last year, the one you can't qualify for!!!

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 17:57

      Josh go back to school please I am trying to get my point out that the EP Kings are not the Southern Kings The Southern Kings have only ever played once Once all 3 sides are combined with the best out of each region then they will be the Southern Kings....

  • Champ - 2012-02-23 15:33

    The Eastern Cape is a beautiful part of our country. And they have a fantastic stadium - I will never forget the atmosphere when the Bokke played the All Blacks last year. Sitting there amongst so many passionate supporters was fantastic. And believe me, having attended rugby matches all over SA, their passion is only matched by the supporters in the Northern Cape and maybe Boland! But many a rugby fan is against the inclusion of the Kings in Superrugby because of 1) It was a political decision and we are tired of politics in sport 2) It is not on merit: the Kings are not good enough (yet) 3) The possibility that the inclusion might be at the expense of another franchise that worked hard to get where they are. (For example the Bulls, Lions, Cheetahs). 4) The Watsons

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 18:14

      1) Unfortantuly we live in South Africa and Sport and Politics will always come up. This a a chance of making the ANZ government happy as they will be granted their wish. If the EC starts producing great black players who represent the Boks then the government and the SA Public will be the ones wimming in the end. Having rugby money in the region will develop allot more players that who have in the past slipped through the cracks as a job was always more important that becoming a professional rugby player 2) The EC loses all its talent every year to other unions, without money the region will never get any better 3) Sorry to say but the Lions have been useless in Super Rugby for the past 10 years, hats off to the Cheetahs 4) Cheeky - Chairman at EP Rugby and doing wonders for rugby in the region - Luke - great player who has grown up since the days when he said the wrong things..The SA public can forgive others, why cant they forgive him??

  • Champ - 2012-02-23 15:53

    An honest question to Marius: you mention R40 million per annum, and calculate it to be more than R500 million in total.. What is the source of this information? For if this is correct, I can only agree that, for example, the Lions could have/should have done better in terms of financial management etc. I also saw a figure of R400 000 p.a. being mentioned in one newspaper article ?? How correct is this??

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-23 18:20

      @ Champ, I would think R400k pa is what the administrators take home every few months TV Rights pay for players salaries that is what turned rugby proffessional

  • Bruce Chetty - 2012-02-24 11:53

    Solomons objective is win promotion this year. What we saw in the warm ups and what we will see in the currie cup is totally different. With the inclusion of players like Grey, Perez, Nokwe and Marais we bound to see the kings dominate this season, and all backed by the administrative brilliance of Anele Pamba and Cheeky Watson.

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