SA’s Super15 team a ‘one game wonder’

There are fears that South Africa’s Super 15 hopeful team will become a “one game wonder” when they are launched against the British and Irish Lions on Tuesday.

There are reports that SA Rugby have put in R15-million into the venture but there are concerns by top rugby figures that the Southern Kings are already on track to suffer the same fate as its predecessor, the Southern Spears, which folded soon after it was established in 2005.

The Eastern Province Rugby Union and the team’s sponsors have predictably insisted that the Kings will still become a force to be reckoned with.

The administration appears to be suffering from pre game match nerves as they showed a mock up of the team’s jersey a couple of weeks ago showing the team’s colours in gold and black and made by Rugby kit company Stash.

The black and gold colours are in the team’s logo and on the team’s bus but it has now been revealed that the team’s kit will be made by Puma and is plain white. The new shirt looks more like a blank canvas with the sponsors logo slapped on the front.

Sources close to the new franchise have told the Herald Online that SA Rugby has jumped ship on promises to prop up a new regional team, apparently after pressure from the five established South African Super Rugby franchises who are concerned that a new team will harm their earnings.

They say the rugby governing body never intended to follow through with their 2005 promise to see a regional franchise launched and that they merely wanted to be seen to back its formation in order to receive an £80-million (just over R1-billion) government backing for their bid last month to host either the 2015 or 2019 Rugby  World Cup.

Supporting the accusations is the lack of a permanent Southern Kings fixture list which would allow them to form a team and create a business plan with sponsor backing.

The team that will launch the franchise against the British and Irish Lions on Tuesday is a makeshift team with many of the players taking part in Tuesday’s historic clash flying back to their respective clubs or provinces the following day.

As there is not a fixture list for the franchise there are also fears that the new R2-billion stadium in North End, which is earmarked to be the home of the new team and would derive much of its income from hosting future matches, could now become a white elephant.

Even if the Southern Kings are allowed to play in the Super 15 they will play all of their home matches in the Australian conference in Australia.

There have been rumblings that there could be a play off match between the Kings and the last placed South African Super rugby team as a qualifier for the Super 15 as it seems inevitable that Australia will get the 15th team in the Super 15 .


If such a match did take place and the Kings won it their participation in the Super 15 would be at the expense of another South African team – most likely the Lions or Cheetahs at this point.

Former SA Rugby president Brian van Rooyen blasted rugby bosses for reneging on a 2005 President’s Council resolution to see a regional franchise takin

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