The Southern Kings have accepted a multi-million rand offer from the South African Rugby Union (SARU) to postpone their inclusion in the Super Rugby competition.
The Weekend Argus reports that the Kings agreed to delay their Super Rugby entry until 2016 in exchange for R40m and Currie Cup Premier Division status from next year.
This comes after SARU earlier this year announced that the Kings would play Super Rugby in 2013. SARU was hoping to convince SANZAR to extend the competition to 16 teams in the hope of having six South African teams, but SANZAR made it clear the competition will remain with 15 teams for at least the next few years.
SARU is now hoping that by 2016 a negotiation could be reached to expand the competition to 16 teams.
The Kings apparently accepted the multi-million rand deal because they weren’t successful in luring enough top-flight players to the franchise for next year.
This news will be welcomed by rugby fans in Johannesburg as the Lions – who was the last-placed SA team in Super Rugby this year – were likely to be relegated at the expense of the Eastern Cape franchise.