Cape Town - The Griffons have been revealed as the union that voted against the Leopards replacing the EP Kings in this year’s Currie Cup Premier Division.
The South African unions earlier this week voted on whether the Kings would stay in this year's Currie Cup Premier Division as the Eastern Province Rugby Union is set to be liquidated after financial instability.
It was recently reported that the Leopards could replace the Kings in the Currie Cup Premier Division.
The Leopards finished as the fourth-best placed team of the so-called smaller unions in the Currie Cup Qualifiers.
The Griffons, however, voted no as they believed that it was an unfair ruling to promote the Leopards.
"We agreed with the call to relegate the EP Kings to the First Division," a Griffons representative Jan Marais told Times Live.
"But SA Rugby slipped in another proposal to promote the Leopards who finished fourth.
"We opposed it because this situation is about EP, it’s not about the Leopards. We made that very clear in a letter to SA Rugby.
"We cannot agree with the Leopards being promoted because we all knew what the rules of the qualifying competition were before it started - and that was the top three outside the Super Rugby franchises would be promoted to the premier division.
"The Leopards were not one of the top three. They did not fulfil the requirements stipulated in the qualifying competition rules.
"Up until the last round we were fourth on the log, but we didn’t really care about our final match because we couldn’t finish in the top three.
"The Leopards moved ahead of us on the standings on the last day because they played a second string Griquas team, who were already sure of one of the top three places. They ended one point ahead of us on the log in the end because of that.”
Marais noted that earlier in the Currie Cup Qualifiers the Griffons thumped the Leopards 76-26.
The Leopards were upset about the matter, with their CEO Andre May expressing his dissatisfaction.
“We have already recruited potential sponsors, who are very keen to enter into agreements with us,” May told Netwerk24. “The right rugby decision was definitely not taken.”
SA Rugby is expected to make a statement on the matter on Thursday, but it is expected that the Currie Cup Premier Division will now only have eight teams, without the Kings.