Mitchell hits out at SARU

2012-05-27 15:10

Perth - Lions coach John Mitchell has criticised South African rugby officials over the uncertainty surrounding his team's Super Rugby tournament future.

Mitchell, a former New Zealand forward and coach and the Perth-based Force's coach for their first six seasons in Super Rugby, is facing the prospect of his Lions dropping out of the competition next season in favour of the Southern Kings.

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) promised the Kings a place in the competition in 2013, but SANZAR will not expand to accommodate six South African teams until 2015 at the earliest, meaning that one existing franchise must drop out.

The Lions' 17-11 loss to the Force in Perth on Saturday left them with just one win in 12 matches this season.

"I just think it's disgusting in actual fact that in some ways it's professional blackmail, and there's no clarity in this situation," Mitchell said following the match.

"I do actually feel for our group - the players and staff. I guess it's on everyone's subconscious because people have families, partners and wives to put bread on the table for."

The Lions have returned to Johannesburg after a four-week match tour that included losses to the Chiefs, Blues, Reds and the Force.

Mitchell is hoping to receive some answers on what could happen next season.

"The Kings are certainly in the competition, but we are living in the unknown and clearly this competition hasn't gone to plan for us so it has been difficult for the boys to not allow it to get to them," Mitchell said. "We clearly want to know what's going on."


  • upumba - 2012-05-27 15:24

    I think this guy should keep his mouth shut and focus on winning or gracefully step aside for the Kings as he's team is the worst in the competition year after year

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-05-27 15:54

      Hear, hear !!!

      Inky - 2012-05-27 16:39

      I think it is the government that should keep their mouths shut! They have already ruined everything else in the country and now want to ruin rugby and affect the player’s livelihoods. Rugby people should decide the future of rugby clubs and not incompetent government officials. I hope the rugby people take to the streets to show their disgust with this shameful act perpetrated by the government.

      vic.jablowski - 2012-05-27 17:11

      Obviously the Watsons have plenty of money or just connections with ANC. This team will not even win one game

      johan.hattingh.5 - 2012-05-27 17:52

      Me thinks (know) that next year the kings will be the worst in the competition (ever)

      Shnez - 2012-05-28 08:43

      We'll have some real fun on Super Bru if the kings play!

      marga.goss - 2012-05-28 09:19

      UPUMBA, Rugby has to be played, the winning team advances and the losing team does just that .It loses out, Kings who ? or who's kings ? Play the Lions and let us find out in the sporting way!

      David - 2012-05-28 12:07

      It is clear you have no idea what is going on either.

      David - 2012-05-28 12:12

      On Superbru what a good bet that the Kings will lose every game. At 20 / 1 what a bet

      Werner - 2012-05-28 14:38

      The Kings will concede 50 plus points in 95% of their games... Guaranteed!!!

      Luke - 2012-05-29 11:28

      Give the Kings 3 years and they will be beating the Force, Rebels and the Cheetahs

  • Squeegee - 2012-05-27 15:50

    Finally, someone in rugby is speaking out against the idiots in charge...

      charl.fourie2 - 2012-05-28 11:20

      Please sign this petition to SARU

      wbschorn - 2012-05-28 12:55

      4 Sure....if I knew a retrenchment was hanging over my head i'd be pissing my pants...

      Hugh - 2012-05-28 13:17

      Seriously, the kings cant even qualify for premier league Currie cup, how are those kings players going to feel when the Force or Rebels knock them 60-0?? God help their psyche when the Saders; Chiefs; Bulls take them on. SARU chiefs need a recall to schoolboy rugby. Watson and Solomons need a taai klap for being such arrogant pricks.

      Luke - 2012-05-29 11:34

      @ Hugh, The Sharks and Stormers only beat the EP KIngs by 20 points in Feb so I am not sure how you think the Force and Rebels will smash them by those scores... Why not wait and see how they do before making your crazy predictions

      Sean - 2012-05-29 11:50

      @Luke. As a Sharks fan are you telling us you'll be happy with a 20 point win in each of you "King" games next year?

  • ErikMagnetoMaier - 2012-05-27 15:57

    I dont understand why Gauteng has 2 teams in the Super 15 anyway, while the Eastern Cape isnt represented at all. OK, the Sharks are basically Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal, but still. I say they should merge the Cheetahs and Lions again to form the Cats.

      Squeegee - 2012-05-27 16:01

      Why don't we merge the Eastern Cape and Robin Island?

      Squeegee - 2012-05-27 16:02

      Oops, I forgot they did and formed the ANC.

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-05-27 16:08

      Erik you make even less sense than I do on rugby matters. Go back into a coma please?

      Jacques - 2012-05-27 20:12

      hey eric what about North West and the other provinces. What a stupid comment. This is super rugby not vodacom cup boet. It is not about provinces. In any case mate where do you think the bulls draw players from. And where do you think the Lions draw from. We all know Stormers and Sharks draw from Gauteng and Eastern Cape looking at their player base. So what does it matter

      Dewald - 2012-05-28 08:00

      Where did you live the past 70years idiot!

      Shnez - 2012-05-28 08:45

      @ Squeegee, Best comment the Whole year bud!!!! Give that man a bells!!!!!

      ErikMagnetoMaier - 2012-05-29 00:44

      Haha as I read your replies, it all makes sense why SA is the way it is at the moment. Sit down, relax, take a deep breath and just think a little bit before calling people idiots and telling them to go into a coma. This is sport, not a life or death situation. You fight for your freedom of the press and freedom of speech, yet when someone voices their opinion- you verbally attack them. Hypocrites

      Luke - 2012-05-29 11:38

      @ Erik, yip we do some some idiots on here dont we Prob all left school in Std 6 to work on the railways

  • martin.gee.godfrey - 2012-05-27 16:38

    Unfortunately, SARU has promised Cheeky Watson and his crowd a spot in the Super 15 and the Lions will be the side that loses out. 16 into 15 just wont go. Political shennanigans winning again.

      Hugh - 2012-05-28 13:20

      I think Watson told SARU to make space or else hell run to the ANC. He needs a taai klap.

      Luke - 2012-05-29 11:40

      SARU went to the Government way before Cheeky decided to step in and help EC rugby For the EC sake I wish Cheeky had got involved in 2003 and not in 2008

  • Tappies - 2012-05-27 16:48

    YOU GO JOHN MITCHELL...YOU GO!!!...the spineless SARU are so afraid of politicians and Cheeky Watson that they can't go back on their promises!!!..I say :' Take your Lions teamand and go play Heineken rugby in Europe in 2013!!!'....not in 100 years will the Kings be able to beat the Lions in any match....SARU is pathetic.

      marius.olivier.7 - 2012-05-27 17:02

      The Kings surely cannot do any worse than win zero S15 games in a season like the Lions do year after year, but still got paid millions by SARU every year. You can't win any less than nothing, so the Kings can only do better, not worse.

      Squeegee - 2012-05-27 17:16

      Marius, you are delusional. Do you really want to see your team lose by a cricket score each week? Thats what awaits you. Please don't become suicidal.

      Thomas - 2012-05-27 19:49

      maruis!! once the Kings are in you will see a new definition of last!!!

      nicolaas.geldenhuys - 2012-05-27 21:11

      @ Marius - The Lions won their very first fixture this year you moron. Shows how much you know.

      Dewald - 2012-05-28 08:06

      Marius, what about the 1 bonus point that the other teams will get every game from the kings! They can't even make a good showing in the Vodacom cup! I see a 109-0 in Cristchurch coming up!

      Luke - 2012-05-29 11:42

      @ Squeegee, what have you got against having rugby in the EC? I have been following what has been going on there for the past 3 years and it seems like rugby is on the rise. The facts tend to speak for themselves

  • richard.aytoun - 2012-05-27 16:54

    Upumba & the rest of you are obbiously forgetting the warmup match between the Kings and the Lions - do you honestly believe that the Kings will do any better than the Lions. Hell, they cannot even reach the semi finals of the Vodacom Cup!

      Luke - 2012-05-29 11:46

      @ Richard, please go back to the write up of that game and tell me who was playing for the Southern Kings on that day. Not one player is a starter for the EP Kings/SWD/Border. The first team players were playing warm up games vs WP/Sharks/ the future when making comments please check your facts

      Sean - 2012-05-29 11:56

      Luke, you keep pointing out that the promotion/relegation game is not fair because the Kings don't have a squad yet? Then you point out that the sides that got smashed by the Lions, or lost the Vodacom Cup quarter final included no players from the Southern Kings squad. Your facts change to suit your argument. Maybe that Standard 6 and the Railways comment hits close to home!

      Luke - 2012-05-29 12:35

      @ Sean, Alan Solomons is currently building a squad. How long do you think it takes to build a Super 15 squad of 35 players??? He will prob have around 20-25 players but will still need to buy around 10-15 to compete against even the Lions He currently knows who he will be contracting in the EP squad but does not know to much about what is going on at SWD/Border, thats the reason there were so many games played in Feb under the Southern Kings name. If you are unclear on anything else please ask These are my opinions which I stick by but some people on here dont seem to think before making theirs

      Sean - 2012-05-29 12:54

      "against even the Lions" - quite brave words considering we are playing a lot of Vodacom Cup guys in our squad! It takes years to build a Super Rugby squad that gells together, and a few hours to break it apart - ask John Mitchell!

      patrickjasoncawood - 2012-05-29 13:18

      @ Sean, should the Lions not have been building a squad over the last few years while been given RMillions from SANZAR? They ended up buying Butch for the same fee of 3 Super 15 quality players. Why is this a Kings vs Lions War anyway? It's SARU who have made a meal of this

      Sean - 2012-05-29 13:39

      It has become a Lions - Kings war because of SARU. It's the survival of the fittest at the moment. Unfortunately neither of the contestants is fit, nor worthy to be included in the war. SARU promised the Kings a spot because they thought they could convince SANZAR to increase the competition. On this assumption SARU convinced the Unions to back the inclusion of the Kings. During the season they inform the Unions that the last placed team is out. SARU is an entity, their members move on. So when the dust settles the Kings will bear the brunt of the blame.

  • Wessel - 2012-05-27 17:13


      Squeegee - 2012-05-27 17:17

      Please don't shout at us!

  • Ran - 2012-05-27 17:45

    Aikona , Lions did not performed well for the past .... how many years S15.They done well during last years Curry Cup. What happened to the passion of the old Transvaal Rugby Union?Transvaal together with the "old" WP , Noord Transvaal and even Freestate R.Union were one of the strongest Rugby Unions then. U must bring back Oom Louis (ou President van TRU) om die brul in die leeu terug te sit. Where is guys like Brian van Rooyen?

  • johan.hattingh.5 - 2012-05-27 17:48

    Me thinks (know) that next year the kings will be the worst in the competition (ever)

      Luke - 2012-05-29 11:47

      and by year 3 will be a mid table side

  • Lee - 2012-05-27 18:18

    to dumbwin and friends..i think think that your kings team should prove them in the vodacom cup first and then try to qaulify for the currie cup. the super cup is not for school some sense in your comments please

  • sandy.mciver - 2012-05-27 18:28

    Well said John Mitchell. SARU, Cheeky Watson and his pathetic son are just right up the ANC's backside... this is the only way that Luke will ever play rugby if his influential father gets his way!! what a laughing stock!!! they will always be on the losing side!! what a pathetic bunch of idiots!!

      Luke - 2012-05-29 11:48

      Why is this all about Cheeky?what about the rugby lovers in the EC? Do you think the country gives a shot about the useless Lions in their grubby stadium?

  • gregg.murray1 - 2012-05-27 18:58

    Well done JM, SARU are spineless, give us some clarity, decide now so that people can voice their anger either way , the Lions cannot play rugby with no clarity on the future, it is like dead men walking. As for the clever trevor who says why does Gauteng have two teams, because they have a large population. If you take the area's that are covered by the Lions, and Bulls franchises = 28 million people more than half of the country.

  • louis.venter.96 - 2012-05-27 19:02

    Welcome to South Africa, the land of incompetence, professional hi-jacking, and race issues. The country where all the bad that was done to the majority for many years, has now been turned around and is done to the minority, and the majority is making sure the minority is getting it back with interest.

      clive.harding3 - 2012-05-27 19:30

      Remember, it's only racist if the ANC is affected adversely, but it's "equity" when white people get adversely affected. John Mitchell, take the Lions to Europe and play there. SA Rugby couldn't wait to kill you off, and now it's happened.

  • Alan - 2012-05-27 19:27

    if i remember all sa super teams were going to boycott the 2014 season if the idiots from saru forced the kings into the tourement or was it just "empty " threats !!!!!!

      Luke - 2012-05-29 11:49

      then why did every union vote for the Kings to play next year...

      Sean - 2012-05-29 12:58

      They voted for the Kings inclusion provided that no other franchise would be dropped! They trusted SARU's statement that there would be 16 sides in 2013. And once it was evident that Super 16 wouldn't happen, the 5 franchises withdrew their vote of support for the Kings. SARU showed this letter to the "lessor" Unions and are hoping that these Unions vote against the big 5 in July. Some of the facts...

      Luke - 2012-05-29 15:48

      Like that was ever going to happen, our administrators that stupid?

      Sean - 2012-05-29 16:07

      Luke I'm afraid they are :-). If the smaller Unions don't back the Board then no Super Rugby for the Kings! If they do then no Super Rugby for the Lions!

  • alexander721 - 2012-05-27 19:37

    unlucky for the lions, but is it no surprise that the estern kings were picked considering who owns the EP federation (cheeky watson), tell me there was no politicing going on behind closed doors

      Luke - 2012-05-29 11:49

      Owns...he is Chairman of the Union

  • 4man1 - 2012-05-27 20:42

    Teams should be in because of merit...not because its a gimme. Whatever team tops the lower division should play the lowest team in the super 12 and lets see the result and stand and fall by that. Anything more than that is blatant political interference in a private company's business as any rugby franchise is now a money earning entity in its own right.

      Luke - 2012-05-29 11:50

      where have you been hiding 4man1, it's now called the Super 15 When do you want this game to go ahead?

  • kenneth.endres2 - 2012-05-27 21:29

    Lions will finish last okay .Let them and Kings have a play off over 3 matches to determine who plays super 15 2013.Kings will be chopping block in super 15.Gumede and partners will have to offer very good contracts to get top players to sign for those bunch of losers.I mean they cant even win vodacom cup.Gov should stick to politics and keep their noses out of sport

      Dean - 2012-05-27 23:09

      kenneth, gumede and partners are no longer a part of the lions franchise, the lions board screw them over

      Sean - 2012-05-28 11:32

      @Dean, get your fact correct before you comment. Do some research and you'll see exactly who screwed who over? Then warn the kings because they are about to get the same!

      Luke - 2012-05-29 11:54

      @ Kenneth, when should these games take place? @ Sean, Gumede pulled out because the Lions Union is a joke of a business, completely bankrupt with no structure in place. He offered to help but with to much in fighting for power he decided that out was a much safer and cheaper option

      Sean - 2012-05-29 13:08

      @Luke you keep saying follow the facts, but don't follow your own advice. Gumede and the Lions split for several reasons. And he will do the same to the Kings if things don't go exactly his way. He goes to the press with unsubstantiated claims, grabs the high ground and then bullies his way forward. Wait and see. He did claim that their investment which ended in June 2011 was part of the reason the Lions won the Currie Cup. Go Figure! Some facts just for you. I admit both sides were at fault, but not just the Lions

      Luke - 2012-05-29 15:51

      @ Sean, I didnt say it was only the Lions fault but cant blame Gumede for leaving the already sinking ship. Lets hope he proves his worth in the EC for the good of SA Rugby

      Sean - 2012-05-29 16:15

      Luke, apparently one of the biggest hurdles to the agreement was he wanted a majority shareholding which the SARU refused. I see he is interested in only 49% of the Kings so he has probably learnt a lesson. Unless he has another 2% in his "corner" already. Leopards don't change their spots though, his backing will not be good for the Kings. Us Gauteng inhabitants are busy fighting off this SANRAL / EToll debacle - guess whose company is a major winner if it goes ahead? Or a major loser if it fails! The only good thing he did was put steam up the Lions so that they won the Currie Cup after he left!

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-05-28 00:07

    If you don't like it, vote with your feet. Simply keep your cash in your pockets and don't buy tickets to watch Kings games at whatever stadium across the country. Saru will soon realise.

      Luke - 2012-05-29 15:52

      Seems like the Lions supporters have been doing that every time another team comes to town

  • Boereroo - 2012-05-28 01:31

    Well it seems you have some tough decisions to make. The Lions are a bit of a joke over hear and basically doesn't get any respect as credible opponents. The Force were equally woeful this season and even they managed to hammer the Lions. Surely with the player numbers you have in South Africa you can get five decent teams together?

      Luke - 2012-05-29 15:55

      Hammer the Lions...did I miss something? The OZ conference is a serious mess, first the Force buy all the players, now the Rebels do. Making 5 pretty average team instead of making the Tahs and Reds quality teams that can make it to the Semi's

  • net.rot - 2012-05-28 08:08

    Geluk JM jy het al 79 games verloor in super rugby

  • Lance - 2012-05-28 09:01

    Imagine training each day in a team that may no longer exist next year. You lay in bed each night worrying, losing sleep and then are expected to train hard and shine on the field. When you're stressed out you under-perform... Give the Lions an honest answer as Im sure they could all be negotiating contracts in Europe for 2013 and be making 50-100% more than they are earning now. Pull finger SARU(ANC) !

  • Chriskoi1 - 2012-05-28 09:56

    Ek dink al die spqanne van Suid Afrika moet saam staan en laat Saru weet wat aangaan met ons rugby. Hulle moet net sêat as hul span van die Leeus uit gegooi word gaan hulle ook uitstap dan sal Saru wakker word .Laat die sogenaamde Kings uit speel en as hulle die leeus wen dan is idt aanvaarbaar anders moet hulle maar wag tot 2013 en dan weer probeer en aanhou probeer tot hulle daar kan speel dit is dit .Dit word so ook met die Curry Beker gedoen en dit werk nou al hoeveel jare en dit het nog nooit enige probleme op gelewer nie .SO SARU WORD WAKER EN KOM TERUG AARDE TOE EN KLIM VAN DIE RUG VAN DIE ANC AF EN LAAT RUGBY VIR HOM SELF SORG ANDERS GAAN EK PERSOONLIK MENSE OPRUK NA DIE KANTORE EN JULLE AANVAT EN EK KAN JULLE BELOWE DIT GAAN NIE GOED AFLOOP AAN SARU SE KANT NIE DIS VERSEKER>

  • Chriskoi1 - 2012-05-28 09:59

    jamer oor die spel foute maar eks die bliksem in.

  • Hans - 2012-05-28 10:20

    Just another political effort. The Watson's at work here, pretty pathetic. The Kings are the ones that should request to join an existing team in the franchise. Although Lions didn't perform they deserve to remain in the competition. It highlights the truth about rugby, which is money, greed and paybacks. All the remaining SA unions should boycott the S15 if this political motivated decision goes ahead.

  • matt.prinsloo.1 - 2012-05-28 10:32

    Ek voel vir die Lions, maar moet die afrigter nie eerder konsentreer om die span af te rig ipv betrokke raak by die issues nie. Sekerlik kan De Klerk namens die Lions praat. En weereens, dis nie die Kings se skuld dat die Lions dalk moet uit nie, so hoekom hap almal so na die Kings? Demografies en geografies gewys maak dit nie sin dat die Kings streek al soveel jare sonder Super Rugby is nie. SARU moes egter die dinge uitgeklaar het nog voor die konferensie sisteem as idee verkoop is aan die uitsaaiers. Wat het hulle daai tyd gedink gaan gebeur 3 jaar down the line, of het hulle gerieflikheidshalwe hulle belofte aan die Kings vergeet...? Kom ons mik vir 200 unlikes met die ene... Maar sekerlik maak dit nie sin om Kings net een jaar kans te gee nie. Sekerlik moet dit n 3 jaar ding wees om hulle n regverdige kans te gee om hul voete te vind en te verbeter in Super Rugby

      Marius - 2012-05-28 17:47

      Ai Matt!! Julle mense wat van boggerol af weet nie wat die hoender se hok wil skut. Eerstens...die coach raak soos jou pa en sal enige iets doen om sy spelers te beskerm en natuurlik te laat beter speel. Tweedens..Dit is die kings se skuld met al die politiek wat saam met hul franchise gaan. hulle nie goed genoeg is om eers ons laer kompetisies te wen nie hoekom moet daar plek gemaak word vir hul. (m.a.w demografies en geografies het niks met die saak te doen nie.) En laastens...hulle gaan plek kry vir 2 jaar. Ek se hulle moet uit-speel!! Dis regverdig en dan kan niemand klippe gooi nie.

      matt.prinsloo.1 - 2012-05-29 08:31

      miskien moet hy meer konsentreer op die "natuurlik te laat beter speel". en ek kan nie onthou dat die Southern Kings in enige kompetisie gespeel het nie. As jy nou nog nie weet nie - Lions is Goldens Lions, Leopards en Pumas. Southern Kings is EP Kings, SWD en Border. Omtrent die Lions - in 2005 is hulle amper ge-relegate. In 2012 is daar weer n moontlikheid. Wat het hulle in die afgelope 7 seisoene met al die Super Rugby voordele gedoen om te wys dit sal n fout wees?

      Luke - 2012-05-29 12:02

      @ Marius, how can you honestly think that a promotion/relegation match is the way forward? When would this match be played? The Southern Kings have not even formed yet, this will surely start happening once the Currie Cup has finished with their first full games together in Jan/Feb before Super 15 2013 kicks off

  • Mardeo - 2012-05-28 10:52

    lets name a few( ) wont remember all players that come from the eastern cape. Rayno gerber (bulls),steven sykes(sharks),dewald & jacques Potgieter ( bulls ), keagan daniel,ryan konkowski(sharks), micheal killian(lions), ndungane brothers(bulls,sharks). Quite a team forming here right... NO, coz they all left becoz of money. Giving the Eastern Cape a super 15 team will Thus forming a platform for guys like the above mentioned to stay in the eastern Cape. NO, the kings wont beat the lions right now & YES they could not win the vodacom cup,but no chance in hell will they compete with the same players, why? Coz they'll have money. Not a hard concept 2 grasp...

      Marius - 2012-05-28 18:07

      You are talking of something that takes decades to accomplish.(not in 2 years time of S15) This is not a quick fix senario. Do u really think that the players would stay with a team that gets beaten by 50 or more. To get the right foundations you need to start focusing on what u can win. Build a big proud fanbase to bring in more money with every good showing....but i guess with politics u can try take short-cuts!

  • Shona - 2012-05-28 11:26

    Government are just wanting rugby to become a joke like the soccer is in this country. Let us at least be good in 1 sport please

      Luke - 2012-05-29 12:03

      @ Shona, the Lions are currently a joke, how much worse can the SK's do?

  • charl.fourie2 - 2012-05-28 11:33

    Please sign the following petition

  • timothy.martin.9655 - 2012-05-28 11:35

    I agree 100% with John Mitchell. The Kings are not even a force in the Vodacom cup so how can they even be considered for the Super 15 competition, the toughest competition in the world. It stinks of corruption, Puke Watson and Dad having their influence no doubt. Lions and Kings should have a three game playoff. That will also be a cricket score.

  • Gerald - 2012-05-28 11:43

    Well why don't they have some sort of play-off between the Lions and the Kings, eg best out of three, one in PE, one JHB and one neutral, or something like that, and the winner goes to the S15 in 2013

      matt.prinsloo.1 - 2012-05-28 12:17

      And on what basis do you suggest the Kings sign up players for Super 15? If you win the promo game for us, you can play Super 15? How can you have a play off like that if most of the Kings players to play SR next year arent even with the Kings yet? I dont want this to be a Kings vs Lions issue, was never the idea. The Kings unions have suffered since 2005 because SARU never kept their promise. Only makes sense why 2 (SWD and Border) of them are among the very lowest ranked provinces. What else could you expect with no Super Rugby in their region. The Lions unfortunately brought their predictament on themselves with their poor performances, despite many years in SR. Some Lions supporters are quick to say it is because the team is playing with a sword over their heads... If you ignore their poor performances even before this debacle, it is maybe possible... but then don't you think EP lost their motivation last season after they learned that there will be no promo/relegation playoffs for CC Premier? (EP's main obejective last season was promotion and that announcement was made shortly before the 1st of the Boland games). But again - this should never have turned into a Kings vs Lions issue...

      Gerald - 2012-05-28 15:11

      @Matt.prinsloo. You don't have to get on your high horse man, it was only a suggestion. If the Kings want to play S15, then they should already have their structures and players in place and if they did, it wouldn't be necessary to have to still sign up players if they get admitted. It's the same as the A and B league of the CC. If you want promotion you have to win play-offs against the bottom of the A league

      matt.prinsloo.1 - 2012-05-28 17:01

      High horse, no dude... far from it. Was simply replying to your suggestion with a smile on this side of the net. You can have in place all the best structures and money in the world - fact is if you dont have Super Rugby, players are going to leave you. Take Jacques Potgieter as example - he didnt want to stay with the Kings because he wanted to play Super Rugby now, not next year only... I have no problem with promo/relegation games. None at all. If the Kings after 3 years find themselves in such a spot, then they must deal with it. Then they had their fair chance. Just dont think its going to be fair now.

  • rboy24 - 2012-05-28 12:34

    The Kings and The LIONS should have a qualifier / PLAYOFF, a decider , for who will play in the Super 15 ANC VS

      Luke - 2012-05-29 12:06

      small things amuse small minds

  • Rey - 2012-05-28 13:52

    'The queens are not performing because the haven't bought their players yet'... bla bla bla. Buying players are not as easy as it sounds... the Lions learned that recently. O and a lot of players in other teams that came from PE, that doesn't mean that they would have played for the queens even if PE had a team. Players play for the team that they want to play for. Yes Money is an issue, but i wouldn't play for a team that i hate, even if they offered me millions.

      Mardeo - 2012-05-28 14:16

      Thats why u dont play for any team Rey. Im sure thats what Habana, butch, sadie, johson,pretorius... list is endless,all said. Rugby is professional & driven by money. Do you think that when a union decides who to buy that they first contact the player & asks if he likes them or not??? Shove ur millions per season coz I dont like you...Doest work that way. Players left the eastern cape coz theres no money here.

      Sean - 2012-05-28 15:14

      @Mardeo - I have to disagree with you on players moving for money. It has been common knowledge for a while that pay is an issue at WP. Yet Jacques Fourie and Bryan Habana moved there! Players do not move for money, they move because they want to play for that team. The Lions have had issues over the years with administration, and I have no doubts that some players have left because of this. But just for money, I don't think so. At present the Kings do not have a huge access to funds. It seems that Gumede is still stalling until he knows that the team will be in Super 15 until 2015. This confirmation will only be given by SARU after the July board meeting. And even with this assurance I would not bank too much on these funds, he pulled his finance from the Lions in June 2011, and then claimed that these finances were instrumental in the Lions winning the Currie Cup (some four months later)! The Kings should have a squad of at least 30 players signed already; they should play this squad in the lower division of the Currie Cup and smash all opposition. If they don't then the cricket match scores expected next year will definitely happen...

  • champ.sepa - 2012-05-28 15:43

    Many supporters of the Kings say that the Kings will have / will buy “better” players for 2013 and S15. Now can anybody please tell me how many “better” players are available to play for the Kings and not already contracted by their franchises /unions?

  • Bert - 2012-05-28 16:25

    There should be 6 SA teams in the super rugby competition. Thereby all the areas will benifit and rugby in SA will also benifit. Two wrongs don't make a right. Let us stop being short sighted. SANZAR can accomodate the KINGS witout blinking an eye. WHAT is stopping them? GO John Mitchel you made the LIONS roar in the CC final !!!! LIONS 4 LIFE

  • ronel.eddiesteyn - 2012-05-28 16:27

    so why are everybody crying what will the difference be lions or kings,the lions cant win so what if the kings loose there games a lost game is a loss 100-0 or 15-14 doesn`t matter so go ep kings maybe you can at least win two games witch will be one more than this current lions fiasco,maybe the lions will start to win when they stop favoring brothers and start choosing players that can play the basic of rugby like passing catching and kicking not because of how much money does my family have or because my father was a springbok or transvaal player,look at jantjies he passes slower than a primery school player while at uj(rau)there is a flyhalf that can kick a ball between the posts from anywhere from halfway line but his father don`t have money so he don`t stand a chance so as i say no sympathy out with the weak.

  • Mardeo - 2012-05-28 19:04

    @Sean, Bud, I dont know where u get ur info from. It is common knowledge that the Blue Bulls company clearly stated they will not make lucrative offers to certain individuals (habana) to keep their services. Bernie Habana( Bryans dad & agent ) would never let his son & client leave the very successful Bulls to join a under performing stormers team. As for Fourie, he left the Lions for a higher pay check & to "play for a team that wins more trophys'' ( the same team this whole debate is about ) & now he has left for a even higher pay check in Japan. Yes,there are players who leave their provinces with a pay cut with the hope of getting more game time, I agree. But your real big name players leave for money. I do understand the Lions heart ace, I myself was a lions supporter back in the day, EP has never had a team to support... I will how ever now stand right behind my Kings team, even if they loose every week. They can NOT do any worse that the Lions.

      Sean - 2012-05-28 21:20

      Mardeo, the Lions won one game this year (so far). Let's see how the Kings do next year. Bear in mind that the Lions lost key players in every one of the first six / seven games - the squad now includes a lot of Vodacom Cup players. The rest period over the Test series, then the Four Nation Tests gives Mitchell a chance to regroup the squad and re-energise to defend the Currie Cup. Here's hoping they perform well. I still contend that no matter how much money they put on the table the Kings will not attract players like Habana, Fourie, Vermeulen, or Alberts - all of whom were signed with the Lions. They may very well attract players on the fringe of other teams, or even some of the current Lions squad. Players like Jano Vermaak, Elton Jantjies, etc. It will be too little to late, again in my opinion. The better Lions players will be picked up by the bigger franchises, which will strengthen them making it even harder for the Kings. I'm a Lions fan and am obviously upset that my team is being thrown to the wolves. The Kings should remember this in three years time when this experiment doesn't work and they find the shoe on the other foot. Their financial backing will not put up with getting beaten every week, he has a history of walking away. In 2016 you may find NZ and Aus object to including another SA side as our 5th side is so weak. An Argentinian side would then be included. The difference will be that the EC will demand a play-off as the fairest option! Farcical!

  • Luke - 2012-05-29 11:32

    How can anyone be so stupid to even think that there should be a relegation/promotion game played this year to see who should play in 2013? The Southern Kings havent even formed as a team, unlike the Lions who have been given millions every year to pick up the wooden spoon Before you give this a thumbs down please comment as I cannot figure out how some of your brains work

      Sean - 2012-05-29 11:46

      It is interesting to see Jake White operating at the Brumbies. Nearly every week there is news of this or that player signing his contract. The Kings need to use this period in the lower tier of the Currie Cup to mould their team for their obvious inclusion in Super Rugby 2013. If the core of the squad has not been formed as yet they are in for bigger problems than people are already anticipating. Look at the Lions as an example. The Currie Cup winning squad started the competition, and with injuries occurring quickly in the opening weeks they are now bottom of the log. Why? New players coming in take time to mould into the squad, and time is not your friend in this competition. In 2015 when the Lions want their spot back because the Kings are terrible, will you be supporting promotion relegation games then?

      Luke - 2012-05-29 12:20

      @ Sean, I agree EP Rugby have been very quiet on signing players.Maybe they are waiting for this mess to be sorted out so they can meet with their potential sponsors to get everything in order before they start making empty promises The Kings are currently building their squad from the players they currently have on their book. They only used mainly u/23 players for the Vodacom Cup with their main focus being winning Currie Cup first division All EC rugby supporters are so hungry for Super Rugby that they are happy to take anything that is offered. In the real world we would of liked this saga to be sorted out 3 years ago so plans could of been put in place, though this I think the EP Kings would of already been promoted to the Currie Cup Premier Division I will be 100% behind promotion/relegation for the 2016 version of Super Rugby, but I assume by then the format would of changed to include teams from Japan/Argentina/Pacifc Islands so it wont be needed

  • Gareth - 2012-05-29 15:58

    As a Lions supporter, i must obviously state that the inclusion of the Kings is not a nice \pill to swollow\. However stating that i can see the merrit in including and developing a new side. Kings or not. It can only make SA rugby stronger.\r\n \r\nMy and im sure a lot of others concern is how will our belovered Lions Rugby Union keep this side afloat without the revenue from the SR fixtures. How will we as a union be able to compete after the said amount of years promissed to the Kings!!!\r\n\r\nMaybe if the Union and SARU could assure that monies would be granted to the union, to keep the players and coaches happy. that would ease many hearts.\r\n\r\nThere is no point in building rugby in developing areas if it is at the expense of other proud and developed unions.

      Sean - 2012-05-29 17:02

      Gareth, Jo'burg has some outstanding schools which continue to supply very good rugby players into the national talent pool. In the recent past franchises outside Gauteng have been quick to sign up this talent while the Lions Union slept. Going forward this should not change much. The big difference is that there will be no senior Union team to convince these players too stay with the Lions. In the short term the administrators need to be cleaned out. With little finances the replacements will be there for the love of the game, not prestige or salaries. This can only be beneficial for rugby as a whole. The side as we know it will move on though. There is no reason for them to stay, and the Union can't afford the salaries. I can't see the Lions surviving this decision. The tables will turn completely. In three years time the Lions and the Kings will be in a mirror image of 2012; the Kings will be the wooden spoonists again; the Lions won't be able to compete in a promotion/relegation battle. And as with the Lions [and Cheetahs] the better Kings players will be signing contracts with the Sharks, Stormers, Bulls and overseas teams. Nothing changes except the location of the bottom side. There is an upside. Ellis Park will be sold [if they can find a buyer]. The Lions will play out of an awesome stadium when they play in the Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup! Probably FNB which would please the Minister of Sport :-).

  • MrThreeZeroFive - 2012-05-29 16:25

    Zero wins on tour out of 4 games. Lost 11 out of 12 games so far and the only thing the coach iz doin is 'hitin out at saru'! Nonsense! He shuld b handing in his resignaxn...

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