Southern Kings pleased with Super15

Eastern Province rugby president Cheeky Watson has welcomed the new-look Super Rugby competition which in his opinion clears the way for the Southern Kings to bid to join the expanded series.

The Super 14 competition will be expanded by one team to become a Super 15 from 2011 and feature more local derbies, under a compromise plan unveiled by the South African, New Zealand and Australian rugby boards.

The competition has been expanded from 14 to 24 weeks, starting in late February and ending in August.

Watson said the longer tournament would allow travelling to be cut down substantially.

“It is good news for EP rugby because the teams will be playing in Conferences which means there will be a lot less travelling. So it will cut down on costs,” Watson told the Herald.

Watson said the expansion of the tournament would also allow the Southern Kings, the new Eastern Cape franchise, to enter the tender process to become one of the official teams.

“We do not know when we will be able to start the tender process because we are still waiting on Sanzar.”

“However, we are very excited about this decision because it will benefit us in the long run,” he said.

If the Southern Kings win the bid, Saru has already indicated that Port Elizabeth will be the headquarters.

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