Spears Super 14 hopes dashed as Lions set to roar

The Southern Spears, the South Eastern Cape Super 14 rugby franchise, hopes of taking part in next year’s competition appear to have been dashed. SA Rugby has gained control of rugby in the region by obtaining 50% shares in the commercial companies of the Border, Eastern Province and South Western District rugby unions.

SA Rugby originally promised the Spears that they would play in the 2007 Super 14 but now SARugby has seen that the Spears are nowhere near being ready so they in the midst of a battle to keep the Spears out of the Super 14.

After months of battling it out with the Spears, the case ended up in the Cape High Court following SA Rugby’s decision to withdraw the Spears’ participation in next year’s Super 14 and Currie Cup competitions.

SA Rugby says all three unions ( Border, Eastern Province and South Western District rugby ) are insolvent and do not comply with SANZAR specifications.

Koos Basson, the Saru vice president, says they are going to assist them to rebuild their financial structures, player structures and even their club structures to eventually be the strong unions they use to be.

Basson says the Spears won’t disappear, it’s a matter of preparing them for eventually taking part in the Super 14.

Earlier SA Rugby was granted leave to appeal against a Cape High Court order entitling the Spears to participate in next year’s competitions.

SA Rugby bosses are hoping that the matter can be settled before the appeal date on November 23. In the meantime the schedule for the 2007 Super 14 cannot be finalised as the teams have not been finalised.

Should the Spears not appear in the 2007 Super 14 the Cats will appear in their place but will be known as the Lions.

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