The presidents of South Africa’s 14 provincial unions will vote later this year to determine if the Southern Kings should play Super Rugby in 2013.
Die Burger was reliably informed that the South African Rugby Union’s (SARU) CEO Jurie Roux scheduled a meeting for August 16 when the unions will decide on the Kings’ fate.
The presidents will apparently be given the following options to choose from:
► The Kings gain Super Rugby promotion at the expense of the Lions;
► The Kings gain promotion, work together with the Lions, with the Lions’ top players then playing their Super Rugby in Port Elizabeth in 2013;
► The Lions and Cheetahs merge to again become a franchise (they played together as the Cats from 1998-2005);
► Rugby bosses decide they’ve made a mistake and the Kings won’t be allowed to play Super Rugby next year.
This comes after renewed uncertainty with the Weekend Argus reporting on Sunday that the Kings accepted a multi-million rand offer from SARU to postpone their inclusion in the Super Rugby competition. The report stated 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.
But the Kings were quick to deny this report and posted the following on their twitter page on Sunday: “The story going around we’ve taken money to stay out of Super Rugby in 2013 is NOT TRUE ! We will be playing Super Rugby in 2013.”
Earlier this year, the 14 provincial unions voted for the Kings to be included in Super Rugby in 2013 – with a promise also made by SARU to the sports ministry. But at that stage SARU was hoping to convince the Southern Hemisphere’s governing body, SANZAR, to extend the Super Rugby competition to 16 teams, which would allow South Africa to field six sides.
However, SANZAR made it clear that the competition will stay with 15 teams for at least the next few years which resulted in the current issue involving the Kings.