Southern Kings issue unlikely to be resolved now

With a number of pressing issues facing South African rugby, it is unlikely that the SA Rugby Union (Saru) will resolve two of the most important concerns at its annual general meeting in Cape Town on Friday.


The participation of the Southern Kings and a proposed Super Rugby expansion are hanging in limbo after an expected meeting with Sanzar partners Australia and New Zealand was rescheduled indefinitely earlier this month.


Time is also quickly running out to appoint Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer’s assistant coaches, with only two months left to prepare for a three-test series against England in June.


Rather than fast-tracking these issues, Saru is expected to present its financial statements on Friday and to vote on two vacant positions on the executive committee.


Gary Meyer and Pat Kuhn’s two year stints on the committee have expired and they are standing for another four years, according to Saru’s general manager of communications Andy Colquhoun.


“There are four other candidates,” Colquhoun said.


They were Jan Marais, former chairman of the council, Peter Hassard, former president of KwaZulu-Natal, Schalk Liebenberg, and Western Province president Tobie Titus.


Colquhoun said there would also be some constitutional amendments up for discussion.


A delegation was formed during a meeting between Saru’s leadership and franchises in February to argue for the expansion of the Super Rugby competition to 16 teams to accommodate all six South African franchises, including the Kings.


Representatives of the country’s Super Rugby franchises were expected to accompany Saru president Oregan Hoskins, deputy president Mark Alexander, and chief executive Jurie Roux to a Sanzar meeting on March 17.


However, Saru announced shortly before the trip that it had written to Australia and New Zealand, requesting a re-scheduling of the planned meeting.


“The request was made to allow time to prepare additional options,” Saru said at the time.


“Alexander and Roux will continue with their scheduled Sanzar meetings as well as discuss with Australia and New Zealand the principles of expansion in advance of the formal presentation.


“We have two options for our partners to consider but are completing work on a further two.


“If that takes a week or two more then we’re happy to take that time,” it said.

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