Pietermaritzburg - Controversial Eastern Province president Cheeky Watson again dodged the bullet when a chaotic annual meeting of the EP Rugby Union at the weekend ended with the critical decision on his future being delayed to the end of February.
Watson, in the face of fierce opposition from clubs and stakeholders in the cash-strapped province, was expected to face a vote of no confidence on Saturday. But after ugly confrontations which delayed proceedings — and saw certain club delegates barred from the gathering — it was decided to hold a special meeting on February 28 when the audited financial statements and Watson’s position as president will be discussed.
The EP Rugby Union faces threats of liquidation and contracted players not in the SA Rugby Union-run Southern Kings squad for Super Rugby have not been paid since September.
The annual meeting was also attended by delegates from SA Rugby, led by deputy president Mark Alexander, and members from the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture.
The special meeting on Sunday, February 28, will take place a day after the disrupted Southern Kings open their Super Rugby campaign with a home game against the Sharks in Port Elizabeth.
The Sharks left on Momday on their two-match tour of France ahead of their Super Rugby season. They will meet two of Europe’s strongest teams, Toulon on Friday and Toulouse on February 11, though these clubs, in the middle of their demanding French seasons, are certain to rest many of their internationals for these friendlies.