S15: Lions remain optimistic

2012-06-28 19:04

Johannesburg - Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) president Kevin de Klerk says he is optimistic that the Lions will participate in next year's Super Rugby competition.

"We remain confident always that we will be in," De Klerk told the media on Thursday.

"There is an immense amount of work that is taking place behind the scenes."

He made these comments ahead of the SA Rugby Union's (SARU) general council meeting on July 13 in Cape Town, where a decision will be made on the participation of South African teams in next year's Super Rugby competition.

SARU's executive committee proposed at a special general meeting in January that the top four teams in the South African conference in this year's Super Rugby competition would join the Southern Kings in next year's competition.

The Kings have been guaranteed a spot in the 2013 season's SA conference, while the participation of the other four teams still had to be decided.

It was proposed that the last-placed team in the SA conference would play a promotion/relegation match against the non-Super Rugby franchise after the 2013 and 2014 season.

With the Lions languishing in 14th place on the overall log, they are the likely candidate to be relegated at the end of the season, if the above proposal is ratified at the general council meeting.

De Klerk, however, said there have been guarantees that the Kings' participation would not be at the expense of the current franchises.

"If we listen to what was said at the sport portfolio committee... the Southern Kings will play in 2013, but not at the expense of any other side," De Klerk said.

"So we are listening to that and we understand what is going on. There is some big lobbying taking place and I do believe that we will still remain in this competition for 2013."

SARU chief executive Jurie Roux told Parliament's sport portfolio committee in May that the Kings' inclusion should not happen "at the cost of SA Rugby or any of the other franchises".

There had also been rumours that players were looking for contracts elsewhere, given the uncertainty of the team's participation in Super Rugby.

De Klerk, however, dispelled these rumours on Thursday, saying the union had secured most of the players for the next three years.

"We are aware of what had take place the last while, the coming and going of equity partners," said De Klerk.

"We've secured additional sponsors. We've locked in our players all secure for 2015."

The Lions play the Stormers in a Super Rugby clash at Newlands on Saturday. Kick-off is at 17:05.



15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Gerhard van den Heever, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Siya Kolisi, 7 Don Armand, 6 Tyrone Holmes, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Deon Carstens

Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Quinn Roux, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Louis Schrueder, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Bryan Habana


15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Butch James, 11 Anthonie Volminck, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Grant Hattingh, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg

Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 CJ van der Linde/Ruaan Dreyer, 18 Ruan Botha, 19 Jaco Kriel, 20 Michael Bondesio, 21 Waylon Murray, 22 Ruan Combrinck


  • sean.brady.14224 - 2012-06-28 19:21

    I'm really looking forward to see how SARU get this "six into five" sorted out! They seem to move slowly from foot to foot as they open their mouths! Then there is SASCOC... Why is it that sports administrators don't realise they are there to benefit sport, not ruin it?

      Tom - 2012-06-28 20:22

      This is going to be the destruction of the Super rugby comcept. How can you promise a team a place without kicking out another team without permission from Super Rugby to have 6 franchises in the conference? Complete idiocy

      david.w.bakker - 2012-06-28 20:31

      I agree everybody has said that the Lions would be out and the Kings in, but that was a proposal only. If SARU can get themselves out of this, we should change their name to "Houdini"

      david.w.bakker - 2012-06-28 20:33

      Where are you Charles Dumber than Dumb. You normally would have commented by now.

  • thomas.cannon.712 - 2012-06-28 19:23

    There it is again, the cream of the crop top four will stand in line to see who will join the "Nobody of Nobodies" in the S15 next year!! Then the "Nobodies" will play in the S15 but not at the expense of the other S15 franchises!! Now how is that for putting a tyre filled with petrol around your neck and lighting a smoke!!! There is a TV show here in Canada that's called "How do they do that" well I hope SARU is on that show, because I want to see how they do that!!!!!

  • raymond.abrahamse - 2012-06-28 20:43

    If the Kings want to play in the S15,in all fairness,challenge the Lions a home and away play off games.I hope that the Kings don't participate in 2013 S15.They are and will be a disgrace to our country.But,South Africa is known as the laughing stock of the World and they continue to make a laughing stock of themselves

      frans.visserdsb - 2012-06-29 08:03

      I think the Lions have done nothing to justify their participation in the S15. I agree - have a play-off. Or better still - let the 5 top franchises from the Curry cup form the basis of the next year's super rugby franchises. With a draft pick (like the NFL) from the remaining Curry cup A and B sections, with the lowest finishing side of the 5 getting first pick of the best players from the remaining sides in the Curry Cup.

      frans.visserdsb - 2012-06-29 08:12

      This will give the curry cup sides a huge incentive to end in the top 5, and even the lowest side can strengthen his team by picking good players which would otherwise lose out of Super 15 participation... The European championship (soccer) works very well with sides in the English premiership vying to be in the top 5 - even if you are not going to make the semis, you still have something to play for.

  • Ken - 2012-06-28 20:57

    This will be like the e-toll story, sue SARFU's pants off Kevin and stuff the ANC sponsored Kings, you have more support than you think! Go Lions! Go Lions!

      anwar.addinall - 2012-06-28 21:05

      Don't worry. Their last game is against the bulls. Easy game to win.

  • jed.vonallemann - 2012-06-29 07:25

    I'm definitely not a King's supporter, but I think the phrase that comes best to mind when listening to Kevin de Klerk is "clutching at straws".

  • P.J. - 2012-06-29 08:16

    No matter who the 5th team is, they are going to embarrass SA anyway. We should rather ask Sanzar if we can stick to 4 sides in the Super Rugby competition! Ps. This was the first time ever I heard any sense coming from Tom's mouth!

  • Patrick Cawood - 2012-06-29 08:38

    SARU better be lining up the best legal team SA has to offer as they are going to get sued BIG TIME Lots of empty promises with no logic behind them As for play offs guys...please think again as it will never happen No logic behind it as the Lions already have a Super Rugby squad, the Kings are a few years behind and need time to build. Also giving them 1 year will never be accepted by them or potential sponsors

  • jandreleroux - 2012-06-30 12:00

    Mr De Klerk: Unfortunately optimism does not necessarily have anything to do with realism. It would be great if we have 6 healthy sides fighting for 5 places. But at this point we have only 3.5 teams Bulls, Sharks Stormers and sometimes the Cheetahs.

  • ajpienaar - 2012-06-30 23:33

    thats the problem when you have most of your team comprising of young players they still act like babies , if you dont perform you going to get heat from the boss , so now that the players are being crapped on by the coach for under performing what do they do they lay complaints to a already a joke of higher management who puts the babies interests first.Its there job they get paid alot to do the work , they should be held accountable for there actions.Lions need to face reality and stop living in a dream world

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