SA S15 sides threaten boycott

2012-02-12 13:19

Johannesburg - South Africa's five franchises have threatened to boycott the 2013 Super Rugby season if any of the current five teams are excluded from the competition.

According to the Rapport newspaper, the Stormers, Bulls, Lions, Cheetahs and Sharks sent a letter of their demands to the SA Rugby Union (SARU).

This followed SARU's decision at the end of January to include the Southern Kings in Super Rugby in 2013.

SARU's 14 unions unanimously voted in favour of including the Eastern Cape team - consisting of the Eastern Province, Border and South Western Districts - in the 2013 season.

At the time, the national governing body said the other South African teams in the cross-continental competition would be confirmed only after proposals from provinces were considered at a meeting in March.

Rapport reported that SARU president Oregan Hoskins reacted with shock when he got the letter.

He told the newspaper that the five franchises demanded that unless SANZAR (South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby) expanded the competition to 16 teams to accommodate six South African teams they would not participate in next year's competition.

Hoskins said he would send the letter to the other nine unions and it "will be in the hands of all unions to decide which teams will play in the Super Rugby series".

South Africa, however, have a challenge on their hands as the current broadcast deal, which allows for 15 teams in the competition according to the conference system, will be renegotiated only in 2016.

SARU deputy president Mark Alexander said at the end of January that the national rugby body would nevertheless lobby its partners at SANZAR for 16 teams to be introduced into the competition.

"There is a window of opportunity with our partners, we are currently preparing a 16 team schedule so that we can go and debate with them," Alexander said at the time.

If SARU fails to negotiate the inclusion of a sixth team one of the existing franchises would have to drop out of the series.

"We understand if one drops out it is very difficult to come back and compete again the following year, it makes it almost impossible," Alexander said.

SANZAR CEO Greg Peters, however, poured cold water on SARU's ambitions ruling out the possibility of expansion.


  • corne.ackermann - 2012-02-12 13:38

    I agree. Get rid of politics in Sport. The Kings should first try to play Currie Cup and be in the top 5 to be able to compete against Aus and NZ's best teams. Maybe they will get there by 2016 (sure hope so). It takes years to build a name in Super Rugby and Kings (SARU) wants one of the other teams to loose that without the Kings be able to compete in Currie Cup. Shame on you SARU.

      Rene - 2012-02-12 13:42

      @Corne, true!! The Kings at the moment will see their behinds in the S15 series. Not wanting to turn this into a provincial issue but a bunch of young Bulls players were able to beat them! Someone made a promise to the Kings, that should never have been made! Like anything else in the world - they must get there on merit - not by 'hook or by crook'!! Sorry Kings!!

      Marcell - 2012-02-12 13:46

      Dis polities, nie provinsialisties nie. Puke en sy pa sit agter dit.

      Kwagga - 2012-02-12 14:02

      Agree with you all - they are hopeless and politically pushed into positions they do not belong !!

      Staal - 2012-02-12 14:46

      The King's should just wait until 2016 and they can renegotiate the format. Simple. They have waited decades I cannot see how they cannot wait another 4. Just because Cheeky and Luke are impatient doesn't mean that they can demand the relegation/destruction of another union.

      proafrikaans - 2012-02-12 14:49

      Ek sal die eerste wees om te erken ek is dom, maar onder die 14 unies van SARU tel die Blou Bulle, WP, Vrystaat ensovoorts. Hierdie einste 14 unies, wat die Bulle en WP insluit, het egter die gedagte van die Kings gesteun. Hoe kan hulle nou wil omdraai en dreig om die Kings te boikot? (Vir die rekord: Ek is totaal gekant teen die Watsons maar ek verstaan nie hoe oa die Bulle dit in die eerste plek kon steun nie.)

      Maarten - 2012-02-12 15:53

      Empty threats! Lets be honest here, NOBODY in South African rugby has the balls to stand up to Sanzar. It really is as simple that.

      Maarten - 2012-02-12 15:57

      @Hoo, are you actually trying to defend apartheid? Seriuosly?

      Hoo - 2012-02-12 17:51

      @marten I don’t have to defend apartheid, nobody needs to defend apartheid. Apartheid is a universal law, a fact/principal that you or nobody else can change or destroy. It will always remain... apartheid is NOT political bright idée, that somebody had and changed it into a law. There will always be differences, cultures, mind sets. Are there walls around your house?? Why?? To support 'apartheid-that is apartheid'... apartheid from criminals, other people, cultures etc. wake up mate. APARTHEID=PROTECTION, PRESERVATION, UPHOLDING. Truth doesn't need to be defended, it defends its self!

      Marcell - 2012-02-12 22:12

      En nou na apartheid is alles hunkey dorey? Gee my maar eerder 'n stelsel waar elkeen homself regeer dankie.

      Maarten - 2012-02-13 07:05

      @Hoo, You are blind. Open your eyes. The legacy of Apartheid is all around you. The worst evil of apartheid was that it made people believe that they are worth less than you, and made people like YOU believe that you are more than you are worth more than you actually are. The sooner you and your friends wake up to this, the sooner this country can move forward.

  • Marcell - 2012-02-12 13:43

    Vir eens het die unies bietjie ruggraat. Ek het al 'n ruk terug gesê die unies moet onafhanklik raak vanaf saru. Volg die model van die Franse/Engelse klubs. Dan kan saru nie kom voorskryf nie. Die unies kan selfs lys op die beurs.

  • Michael - 2012-02-12 13:44

    There we go.. Some sense!! Hats off especially to the stormers, bulls and sharks!! Who are standing up for what is right and their two 'deeper in trouble partners'!!

  • Johan - 2012-02-12 13:44

    I support the unions on this. I don't know why SARU wants to humiliate the Kings and enter them in Super Rugby. Cheeky Watson must have some very powerful friends... Perhaps SARU should rather see if they can't play the Kings in the Currie Cup and gradually build them up. 2016 sounds like a reasonable time for the Kings to enter Super Rugby if they put the right structures in place now. You can't force transformation, it takes time.

      Colleen - 2012-02-12 17:49

      I couldnt agree with you more Johan. I also thought Currie Cup would be a great introduction for those youngsters. Politics has no place in sports.

  • John - 2012-02-12 13:45

    and this is what happens when you promise the Kings inclusion without having an inkling how to fulfill it. Hoskins and his lackeys = complete assclowns.

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-02-13 09:34

      Hoskins should be hooked to 220V a little longer so that he can be shocked back to his senses - that's if he had any for starters!

      Byron - 2012-02-13 11:41

      It was Van Royen who promised them not Hoskins but Hoskins knows he makes a plan or the Kings approach the courts plain and simple

  • Dennis - 2012-02-12 13:47

    The Kings should earn their place in the competition not cry like a baby and "demand" a place !! I smell "watson" all over this !!

  • Bill - 2012-02-12 13:56

    The Kings have to earn their spurs first! They have no track record of success, not even in the "B" division of the Currie Cup, yet someone seems to think they can hold their own in the S15, at the expense of one of the bigger, established franchises that has the experience, infrastructure, finances, and supporter base that allows survival! The Kings have a huge talent base from which they may potentially draw future stars, but they are not there yet. Where will the finances come from? Where will the supporter base come from? Who or what guarantees their future? Rather build something substantial, with a proven record of success and then challenge the big fish instead of using political pressure to gain a place in the world's toughest rugby competition.

  • Clive - 2012-02-12 14:01

    Politicians to keep there noses out of OUR sport ( Bulls color and emblem). Go change the soccer If they don't like that they can leave the country. Go to Zimbabwe with the rest of the rubbish. Good on all the provinces to stick together and it is time we stopped SANZA from dictating to us. Tell them if they don't like it they can piss off. They need us more than we need them.

  • Ryan - 2012-02-12 14:13

    ASTONISHING !! You would think that between the 'brains trust' (sic) in SARU, one of them, if not all of them, would possess sufficient business and sport savvy to understand that surely, without question, this would have to be approved by SANZAR and SA's own regular SupeRugby unions (who would never have agreed knowing one of them must forfeit their place in this prestigious tournament) first before even thinking of promising a place in the tournament to any franchise, regardless of team composition and experience. Politics or just plain gross incompetence.

  • drummond.doig1 - 2012-02-12 14:21

    Affirmative action they will be awesome

  • camiel.phillips - 2012-02-12 14:45

    Let the Kings play Currie Cup rugby and thta way test themselfs if they are worthy of a spot in the big league

  • Staal - 2012-02-12 14:47

    *LOL* It all one can say.

  • christo.present - 2012-02-12 14:55

    Wow . Take your stuff and go !!!! Once again through the reaction of people on this website I can see how people don't want to understand how things are done today. Many years back it was only WP and N.Tvl who regularly won Currie Cups. Then professional rugby started. Now clubs could buy the best players. Natal , OFS and Tvl then begin to win Currie Cups. Not bacause they were the best , but because they could buy the best. The same is happening today. Everybody just look at the Kings and how they can not compete against the other Super Rugby teams. But when they'll officially a Super Rugby team , they will also buy the best players and then they will be able to compete. Look at the team from Australia , they struggle at first but are now competing. So this whole strike thing is about teams scared they will not perform and will be excluded , will then lose their best players to other super rugby teams, will have empty stadiums, will have less money !!! Its all about money!! So I say give Kings a chance and let the other teams fight over which will stay and which will go.

      Marius - 2012-02-12 15:34

      @ Christo. You are the only one so far who has commented with his brain and not his heart. As for all those who want the Kings to earn their place via a promotion relegation game. Read the statement in the article. ""We understand if one drops out it is very difficult to come back and compete again the following year, it makes it almost impossible," Alexander said. By the same token, if it will be that difficult for a team to compete again after being just one year out after 10 years in the competition without success, it will be virtually impossible for any team who doesn't have the exposure to regular higher level competition to ever gain access to S15. by winning 2 promotion/ relegation games,because the team that is already in the competition only has to win one of the two for the status quo to remain, but the team trying to get in , must win both. This is just a case of the rugby mafia trying to protect their territory. by Furthermore those of you who insist that they should first qualify for the Currie Cup. How is that possible after they have scrapped the promotion/relegation matches last year?

      Bill - 2012-02-12 16:43

      Where is the money to "buy the best" going to come from Christo? Year in and year out an established and successful union like the Free State Cheetahs see their players poached by richer unions. An established union that has won the Currie Cup both before and after professional rugby came along, cannot find sufficient sponsorship money to compete with the likes of the Sharks, the Bulls and the Stormers. As for the Lions, they are almost bankrupt in the biggest financial center of Africa, despite winning the Currie Cup. Where oh where will the Kings find that kind of money?????? Nee ek weet nie! I think the Eastern Cape has loads of talent and should be given every opportunity to build a successful team. As for the Melbourne Rebels, well they did come stone last in 2011 didn't they? From a bustling city 6 times larger than PE.

      Scatmanza - 2012-02-12 17:29

      Christo, what has EP Rugby done in the past 10 years to deserve replacing one of the current S15 teams? Also what have any of the S15 teams done in the past 10 years to desrve being replaced by the Super Kings. The reality is that the Watson's are politically connected and it is a political decision to make this change not a Rugby decision. Let SARU pour development money into EP rugby, then they can compete with the 5 other unions on equal footing, but to replace one of the other unions without being on merit is unfair to both the current S15 teans and to the Super Kings

  • Allen - 2012-02-12 15:49

    Southern Kings = Canon Fodder. SANZAR may have to look to changing the Super Rugby rules to include provision for a team having to declare when they reach 100 points when playing against the Southern Kings

      Matt Prinsloo - 2012-02-12 18:40

      Haha, then why is it 6 games later and no 50 even...?

  • Patrick Cawood - 2012-02-12 15:51

    I can't see the Kings having a worse record than the Lions over the last few years Or the Bulls record a few years back Didn't win a game in 2 or 3 seasons... I do agree they need to put a decent side together and prove themselves before going to the slaughter I would love the EC to have a side in Super Rugby All their players end up leaving as the union could not march offers from the big boys 6 teams is to many and hope it never gets to that I am also not sure why people are so negative towards them And need to remember that the team will be made up of 3 regions With a massive sponsor bringing in some top players Frans Steyn!!!

  • gerry.pelser - 2012-02-12 15:53

    Super 10 Super 12 Super 15. Super 15 Super 16.... Gads, wherre will it end? Super Rugby used to be the toughest rugby contest out, it was a strength vs strength contest. Now its everyone and his dog playing along, and who suffers? Rugby, that's who. If I was king of the world, I'd got to a super-nine format. Three BEST teams from each country. Want to say "yeah but its all about money - weel then, DOUBLE the games, a home and away series. That way the top teams will play in a bloody tough contest, and the winners wont waste their time by playing against the minnows. This will also give the provincial leagues extre impetus to play well - if you suck, you're out, even if you won last years super series, if you end 4th in the Currie Cup - sorry boet, you're out. This is how you build strong rugby, not by letting Kings play with Brumbies.

      Colin - 2012-02-12 17:33

      Gerry, I like your thoughts. When they moved from 12 to 14 teams I already thought things are getting out of hand.

  • Amanda-Leigh - 2012-02-12 15:58

    But WHY the Kings, and not one of the other Premier division teams??? All they have going for them at the moment is political clout. The Big 5 have earned the right to represent themselves and the country in the Super series, the Kings haven't even featured in the Currie cup premier division? If they are so keen to lobby for an extra team in the Super series, then why not lobby to be promoted to the premier division to prove their worth? Surely that is more attainable than an extra team in the super series?

      Matt Prinsloo - 2012-02-12 18:27

      Amanda, all other teams or unions already gain from Super rugby, except the EC teams: SWD, EP and Border. Read reports and you will see that Pumas gain from Lions, Griquas from Cheetahs, etc.

      Neville - 2012-02-12 21:16

      How have they earned their "right"?

  • Marius - 2012-02-12 16:00

    The team that is last should not neccesarily make place for the Kings. Maybe a good stipulation should be that if that team also finishes in either 14th or 15th position in the competition, only then should they make way for the Kings. If they finish higher, they can remain for another year and the Kings will have to wait. That will also promote the teams who have historically struggled in the competition to put in a bigger effort to finish higher on the log. At the moment there is no penalty for mediocre results year and year out, if you can stay in the competition indefinitely, just because your buddies threaten to take their rugbyballs and go home if you get dropped out of the competition. What this actually shows is what idiots are currently running the various unions. The Kings supported the vote for reducing the Currie Cup to 6 teams, knowing well that it will rob them of a chance of even playing in a promotion/relegation match, but in return they asked for the S15 assurance. That the big unions presidents could not see the consequences of voting the way they did when they initially voted in favour doesn't say much for their intelligence.

  • Dawie - 2012-02-12 16:08

    The Stormers started the petition! They know it's gonna be them kicked out of the competition, as they should be. JOKERS OF WORLD RUGBY

      Bill - 2012-02-12 16:45

      Been at the Nagmal wine bottle again Dawie?

      Dawie - 2012-02-12 17:54

      @Bill Just stating the facts my boy. If you can't win a single cup in 10 years, playing in 3 different competitions you don't deserve to be there. 0/30 strike rate. Yes, ZERO out of thirty! How pathetic

      Neville - 2012-02-12 21:18

      All you have to do is win the conference and we did that last year. It is not about winning the cup but the conference if you want to compete next year Dawie

  • Patrick Cawood - 2012-02-12 16:08

  • gavin.simpson.0 - 2012-02-12 16:46

    Forget "1984".... more like "Things Fall Apart". This is all so sad.

  • Jock - 2012-02-12 18:01

    Interesting to see Sanzar's reaction to the possibility of SA teams not participating in the tournament. SA represents at least 50% of audience numbers? Time SA pushed its weight around?

  • Matt Prinsloo - 2012-02-12 19:23

    To everyone bombing the Kings... Why is the teams from the EC region the only ones that gain nothing from Super Rugby at present? All other unions benefit from it. Can't expect them to perform if they don't have the same privileges. And yes, privilege, not right.

      Marcell - 2012-02-12 22:20

      It is your priviledge to start at the bottom and work your way up.

  • Liso - 2012-02-12 20:28

    Dont see what all the fuss is about, the way I see it the Currie Cup should be used as a qualifying round where the top 5 teams advance to represent the country in the S15

  • steveroodt - 2012-02-12 21:50

    Guys just think Chippy And Lucky Luke need I say more

  • bernard.ingram - 2012-02-13 02:34

    And the Kings lost to a Bulls C side. They want to play Super rugby. Good luck on the wooden spoon forever!

  • Patrick - 2012-02-13 03:30

    good riddance, then!!!!

  • Robert - 2012-02-13 07:22

    Um..."Eastern Province, Border and South Western Districts", Who? While it's great to see more and more quality rugby, I don't see how this can add to the quality of Super Rugby. While 16 teams may make the quarter-finals and so on easier to line up, I think the current situation where if you finished up higher you get the bonus of a quarter-final bye. In all it's just about making money, but I don't see how a team of whipping boys is going to make anyone money.

  • sfrancoisdevries - 2012-02-13 11:02

    I think it's childish to act like this. It's like..... If you don't do things my way I'm not playing anymore. Reminds me of the time when I was 5 years old.

  • sfrancoisdevries - 2012-02-13 11:04

    Who do you want to drop out. I'll riot in the streets if my team gets kicked out!!!

  • walter.language - 2012-02-13 11:08

    So wie lieg en wie praat die waarheid? Rapport se daar was 'n boikot dreigement en SARU se daar was nie. Iemand lieg?

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