Cheetahs not fond of merging

2011-11-29 07:50

Cape Town - President of the Free State Cheetahs, Harold Verster, says it is unlikely that the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings will merge at the start of the 2013 Super Rugby season.

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Verster, also the CEO of the Cheetahs Company told the Volksblad newspaper they are confident that the central union will survive as an entity of its own in future.

This comes after apparent rumours that the Cheetahs and Kings could merge to form one franchise in 2013. The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has to accommodate the Eastern Cape side in Super Rugby from 2013 onwards and the merging with the Cheetahs is apparently an option.

However, Verster believes the Cheetahs have a strong case to remain as a franchise and has denied talks of an amalgamation with the Kings.

"There's a lot of uncertainty regarding 2013. The chances that the Cheetahs will survive are better than what people think.

"There's no mention that we and the Kings will merge," said Verster.
Verster said the Cheetahs are the only truly South African regional team as they comprise of three unions: The Griffons, Free State and Griquas. The Cheetahs have used a fair amount of Griquas' players in recent years, while the other unions mainly used players from one union (i.e. as they play in the Currie Cup).

Verster noted that there's only one franchise which represents the central part of South Africa, also noting that the Bulls and the Lions are, for example, very close to each other.

He further warned that the Northern Cape and Free State governments are firmly behind the Cheetahs' existence in Super Rugby.

Verster believes it is logistically impossible for the Cheetahs and Kings to merge. "There are few flights between Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth and you can't drive 650km every time.

"We previously played with the Lions for the Cats, but it didn't work due to logistical problems," said Verster.


  • Lionel - 2011-11-29 08:08

    I agree 100% with Verster,I would not merge with them at all,SARU is now making there problem of promises to the Kings now the Cheetahs.Kings do not deserve to be in Super Rugby.If they seriously need to fit another side in then make it up of all the smaller unions like Boland,Valke,Pumas etc.

      Michael - 2011-11-29 08:26

      Cant agree more with u lionel.. If they so badly want to play super rugby, let them play out against the bottom super rugby team.. Im helluva surprised that sanzar havent stepped in on this fiasco.. Cause adding the kings to the super rugby comp would without a doubt cheapen arguably the premier provinsial competition in the world. Let them work their way into premier rugby not wangle!!

      Lionel - 2011-11-29 08:38

      Michael,you are correct in saying they must work for it,if we want something in our lives we work for it,it does not get handed to one on a silver platter(unless of course you are filthy rich:):))Kings should work there way up through the system and take it from there.

      Riaan - 2011-11-29 09:25

      Why would you fight over this, go Namibia!!! 95% of the population's first language is Afrikaans. No BEE or AA, Just equal opportunity. They have more oil than Angola so development will be fast. They have too much work and too few people to do it. The rugby loving people in this country build one of the strongest brands in the world, we can do it again. ANC don’t want you here anyway, they just want what you have – MONEY. But, they want you to work for it. Namibia is our future I am making ready go where I will be welcomed…

  • Ian - 2011-11-29 08:20

    EP Kings absolutely deserve a spot in Super Rugby...they've been dropped SOOOO many times by SA Rugby...If SA Rugby just kept their promises, the Kings would, by now, be far better and more prepared for Super Rugby. Why is the Eastern Cape always forgotten about? In a country where the politicians always dwell on the past, on apartheid, on past wrongs, they're very quick to forget about their past when it comes to where most of the ruling party are from. Get the Kings into the Currie Cup first, then consider Super won't work the other way around.

      Dirk - 2011-11-29 08:40

      How do you define that "deserve". They have certainly not achieved on the field- they could not even win the premier league. Saru has made political promises and now they are in trouble and it cannot be expected of the Cheetahs to get them out.The administrations of EP, Border and SWD have in the past, proven to not only be incompetent but very often, corrupt. For the Cheetahs to merge with them, would be suicide.Let the Kings join the Stormers- Coastal Stormers have a nice ring to it. And with the Stormers not having won anything for 10 yrs anyway, the Kings in their midst, cannot cause them too much damage

      Lionel - 2011-11-29 08:50

      Between the two of you I don't know who deserves the Plonker of the month award more!!!!!!I liked what you said Dirk until you had to have your two cents worth about the Stormers,well done,feel better now???????

      Ian - 2011-11-29 08:58

      Dirk, I agree with you, merging with the Cheetahs would be silly...absolutely...but remember, ALL the other unions were "given" opportunities to play Super Rugby...and yes, the unions in the Eastern Cape are very badly run, but I believe that things are changing. Another crazy scenario, is that this season there was no promotion/relegation game, so how do the teams in the 2nd division play their way up into the Currie Cup? All teams 'deserve' chances, but these chances must first be given...There is a massive rugby public in the Eastern Cape, evident at the SA VS NZ test held down there earlier in the year. They must get a's only fair...

      Johan - 2011-11-29 09:22

      Ian my man... EP has never even won the Currie cup... EVER !! How do you deserve to play in the Super 15 ??

      Shistirrer - 2011-11-29 10:22

      The Kings should merge with the only Super Rugby franchise they managed to beat: The Bulls.

      Shistirrer - 2011-11-29 11:50

      @Blue: You are making no sense at all. Let me explain to you, and I will type slowly, because you can't read so fast: The Kings managed to beat the Bulls, which by definition makes them a better/stronger team than the Bulls, so a merger will strengthen the Bulls. Two other advantages the Bulls will get from such a merger: With the current lack of leadership in the Bulls (Steriods Spies? Ag please...), Luke Watson can step up and take over the captaincy. Secondly, with the Kings and Bulls merged, the Bulls won't need to play and lose against the Kings anymore - at least you cannot be beaten by yourself. Although, with the Bulls you never know...

      Lionel - 2011-11-29 11:59

      @Shistirrer LMFAO,absolute classic:):):):) hahahaahahahahaha

      marius.theron1 - 2011-11-29 12:55

      Sorry Ian, if you can't win the Currie cup 1st division then there's not even a place for you in the Premier division. And now you want this team, who lost by a big margin against Boland to play in the S15. Waste of time and money.

      Dirk - 2011-11-29 13:49

      I knew that I would get into trouble with the Stormers comment. As an old Matie, I am an old WP supporter, for self-preservation. So, that came with "tongue-in-the cheek"

      Shistirrer - 2011-11-30 11:55

      Sorry, did that hurt, Blue?

  • Johan - 2011-11-29 08:25

    hehehe EP Kings... what a joke :D

  • Stephan - 2011-11-29 08:27

    Eish. it is a sorry day for your existence if you demand promises from others, or abuse statutory legislation to get recognition for which the average sapiens work their asses off, under normal circumstances. In doing f...all, the best option between sitting or standing, is laying!!!

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2011-11-29 08:31

    OMG Why would they want too in the 1st place??? Who would want Cheeky Watson and son Puke on board?? Good decision Cheetahs, you are great on your own, you dont need some AA team to make up the numbers

  • Dave - 2011-11-29 08:39

    Lets put in at least one or two teams that have a chance of winning before we think of putting teams in that may not even win a single game through out the season

  • David - 2011-11-29 08:40

    'not fond' ????? Great headline.

  • Matthew - 2011-11-29 08:46

    The Lions and the Bulls make a way better option if they want to merge franchises, Pretoria and Joburg are literally one city and the logistical problems are null!!!!

      Ian - 2011-11-29 08:59

      now there's a sensible comment...well done Matthew

      Gerrie - 2011-11-29 09:18

      Yee Mattthew that will make perfect sence. And by the way why don,t we just destroy Springbok rugby!

  • Christopher - 2011-11-29 08:50

    The only realistic option, if they're going to merge any teams, is to merge the Bulls with the Lions! They could form one great team and their fan base would be huge! There would also be no logistical issue as Pretoria and Joburg are so close. The only problem is that it'd strip both teams of their identity and brands which they've taken years to build up. I still think that the Kings should play a promotion-relegation match against the SA Super XV team that comes last next year. The players from whichever franchise that doesn't make the competition could then go into a "pool" from which the other franchises coaches could draw if they need to.

      JacquesClaassen - 2011-11-29 09:47

      Good Idea with the pool matches, but merging the Bulls and Lion!? Won't happen, remember that even tough the Bulls and Lions have a great respect towards each other, and most Bulls supporters adopt the Lions as there second team and visa versa it must be remembered that the reason the Bulls exist is because the split from Transvaal to form Northern Transvaal back in the day. I just don't see these two now suddenly making up and re-forming an alliance.

  • philip.spies - 2011-11-29 08:57

    Damn right! If two teams had to merge why not the Bulls and Lions? Cheetahs stand up for yourselves!!!

      philip.spies - 2011-11-29 10:21

      I don't think the Kings deserve a place either, but SARU promised them a place regardless. All I'm saying is why should SARU's promise be the Cheetahs' problem? Logistically it would make more sense to merge the Lions and Bulls, than any other two unions, as they are the closest to each other. I am sure neither the Lions nor Bulls fans want them to merge any more than the Cheetahs fans want to merge with anybody else. So one solution remains. All five of the current Super 15 unions threaten to withdraw unless a better solution is found. Let the bottom placed South African team in 2012 play against the Kings and IF the Kings can manage to beat them, then they play in 2013, if not then sorry. Make the Kings play for the right to play super rugby, other wise every game they play will be a blood bath anyway.

  • Dakey - 2011-11-29 09:14

    I wouldn't want the EP Kings to merge with Freestate either. It doesn't make sense. The problem with SARU is that the teams with the deeper pockets and stronger recruitment system will always outperform any other team. Had the PE Kings, Dewalt and Jaque Potgieter, Keagan Daniel and Ryan Kankowski (just to name a few), all PE/East Cape born, would they not also have a team worthy of competing against the top teams like in years past? Port Elizabeth can actually pull large crowds and seems to be the only city actually capable of singing our national anthem. Let them have a team of their own, they can't actually be that much worst that the Lions of the last 5 years right?

      Michael - 2011-11-29 10:00

      "Just to name a few"... Pffff... So ul have 4 loosies that wont even make the current cheetah squad. Humour us though, name a couple more. Gonna be a difficult task.. Had the cheetahs kept al 'their' players they'd be one of the super powers in super rugby. It's a profesional era. It's naive to think that way.. And if they can sing so well, let them compete with the drakensberg boys choir not with the likes of the crusaders, blues, bulls, stormers.. Just to name a few..

      vdwjasper - 2011-11-29 11:29

      Geez Michael, you are naive - there are hundreds of players from the Eastern Cape. Elton Jantjies, Luke Watson, Lwazi Mvovo, Bjorn Basson... to name but a few current players. And yes, it has always been like this: Ollie le Roux, Rassie Erasmus, Mark Andrews... I was in school in the Boland and we used to respect the Eastern Cape sides more than any other. Believe me, if in any school has ever had an unbeaten tour through the Eastern Cape, I have yet to hear of them.

      Michael - 2011-11-29 13:42

      Wow Jasper.. Ur 'naive' comment seems a little ironic coming from someone who has never heard of grey college!? "Believe me, if in any school has ever had an unbeaten tour through the Eastern Cape, I have yet to hear of them." They've gone though numerous years unbeaten let alone ep tours.. Do urself a favour and google it.. Magic what u might find!

  • vdwjasper - 2011-11-29 11:05

    What's the point of having the Kings merge at all? What exactly would be different? We would still be 5 unions representing with exactly the same player base to choose from. Now only a few games will be played in PE (maybe East London)...Wait no. That has already been tried. Remember the Coastal Sharks? I do feel however that something needs to be done to harness the ridiculous amount of talent in the Eastern Cape. Each year about a third of the top 30 ranked school teams in SA hails from the Eastern Cape. Something desperately needs to be done to retain and grow that talent.

  • Chris - 2011-11-29 14:07

    the lions win one currie cup and now they are better than any other rugby union who has WON THE MOST CURRIE CUPS. the ep queens need to prove themself first so let them play currie cup next year and work from there or at least varsity cup then. heard a rumor cheeky is taken over the ancyl a fitting job for a man with his own agenda do you not think ps WP IS THE CORRECT ANSWER

      Johan - 2011-11-29 15:36

      Chris in the last 20 years tHe Lions have won more Currie cups than WP :)

  • theunsvw - 2011-11-29 15:50

    It's like the Valke merging with the Stormers. What value could they ad...?

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