A Royal cock-up

September 21, 2012
Posted by

Can this become more of a cock-up? I am actually afraid to ask in the fear of tempting fate…

Firstly SA Rugby sells the Kings franchise down the river by only giving them one year of Super Rugby participation, and now the Kings want special dispensation from SA Rugby to be able to sign more than the allotted two foreign players?

I’ve tried to avoid jumping on the Kings bandwagon with raising the ridiculously obvious (circus of events), because as many of you would know I have always been a supporter of their participation in Super Rugby – but sometimes no deal at all is better than the hack-job devised by the powers that be.

While part of me is really pissed off at SA Rugby for only giving the Kings a one-year deal, I also have little sympathy for the franchise given how they have been ‘selling’ themselves as the great black hope of SA Rugby.

I can understand Cheeky’s concern with his player base and depth and the need to ensure they are at least competitive in the world’s toughest competition, but don’t expect sympathy from the public when you sold yourself to SA Rugby and the South African fans as the franchise that will focus on the development of black rugby talent in your hundreds of affiliated clubs in the region.

Of course it is not like SA Rugby’s brilliant plan of action helped them in any way, I mean ‘transformation’ in rugby should not fall onto one union or franchise alone even if they do market themselves as the ‘hub’, just because you are piss-poor in implementing a sustainable program doesn’t mean you can shirk responsibility of your duty!

And make no mistake, SA Rugby has also ‘sold’ the Kings concept to government (in exchange for their backing in failed Rugby World Cup bids) on the back of transformation targets they are responsible for.

But I suppose that is SA Rugby for you in a nutshell, saying one thing, and then doing the complete opposite while you line a couple of pockets and buy some more time.

Whether you support the Kings concept (and I use the word concept loosely) or not, the one thing that should be clear in everybody’s mind is that there will be no winner coming from this.  There will be no dick-swinging in the end, and rugby (or transformation) will not be the winner.  This whole sorry episode is just another pathetic cop-out in a very, very long list of cop-outs.  And nothing will change for as long as the game of rugby lacks decisive, and responsible leadership.

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49 Comments

  1. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 11:53 am

    It’s a joke is what it is… a big Cheeky joke of a situation… is anyone surprised?

    RSA is purportedly brimming with young talent… so why pay top Rand to bring in the ‘Clint Newlands’ of the world who will no doubt be journeyman…

    I’m sure a Kings side that gets pumped by young RSA talent will get more support than a Kings side that get slightly less pumped by a rag-tag side of both international and expat journeyman…

    Big fat Cheeky joke this… and citing the Rebels is a pathetic example…

  2. avatar Loosehead says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    What has happened to all of the local EP talent that we were promised existed?

  3. avatar biltongbek says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I want to support the Kings concept, but only if they stand by their mission of developing black players.

    We need a Franchise that will focus on that, and as Cheeky used that mission statement as justification for inclusion to super rugby, Kings should be that franchise.

    SARU and KINGS both have no accountability for anything they say, it is worse than a politician making promises during a campaign and then once selected uses his position for personal benefit.

    I understand the Kings want to be competitive, but they should have developed players during the past 5-6 years.

    Just more proof that we are our own worst enemies.

  4. avatar biltongbek says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Just a quick joke my wife just read on facebook.

    This woman complains her PVR is broken, it just doesn’t want to record the stuff she programs.

    Every time she programs a recording for “biggest loser” the PVR records a Bulls Currie Cup match. :whistling:

  5. avatar Jacques(Bunny)Morne Steyn is Baas says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Reply to biltongbek @ 12:41 pm: :D

  6. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Reply to biltongbek @ 12:40 pm:

    And here I was thinking having another franchise in a once rugby proud region was about developing ‘young’ local talent… not just ‘black’ talent… which is exactly the case with the Melbourne Rebels from grass-roots and up…

  7. avatar biltongbek says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 12:53 pm: Well that is what Cheeky watson harped on about when he launched his whole campaign.

  8. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Reply to biltongbek @ 12:58 pm:

    Yep… but we all know what the spiv’s motivation is mate…

  9. avatar biltongbek says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Of course we do.

  10. avatar Morné says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Latest rumours:

    Lions are looking to enter into a deal with the Sharks, they will release all their players to the Sharks for Super Rugby but when they need them for the play-offs against the Kings, they can have them back.

  11. avatar Vetgesmeerde Blits says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Reply to biltongbek @ 12:41 pm: hehe

    Laat ek julle eers van my luck vandag vertel…
    Ek loop verby ‘n kennisgewingbord met 2 Blou Bulle seisoen kaartjies daarop,
    wat met duimspykers vas gekap is…
    Ek kon my oë nie glo nie!
    Ek was juis opsoek na duimspykers…

  12. avatar biltongbek says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I heard a rumour Taute is leaving for the brumbies, is that true?

  13. avatar Ollie says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Reply to biltongbek @ 1:43 pm:

    I know Ettienne Oosthuizen is, not sure on Taute though.

  14. avatar Ollie says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Reply to biltongbek @ 12:40 pm:

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 12:53 pm:

    I have sent a email to The Kings to see what they have in line of an academy for development.

    But really guys, you can’t expect a S15 team to start of with from the word go when they only have 1 year guaranteed.

    The development players need something to develop into, no?

  15. avatar Ollie says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Reply to Ollie @ 2:35 pm:

    Just confirmed with a live interview with Cheeky on Ballz radio.

    The academy is majority local youngsters, but they can’t be expected to perform in the S15 from the word go. As Cheeky put it, The Kings haven’t had a chance to warm-up because of the short notice and they are standing in the blocks ready to go.

    You can’t blame them or expect them to do it any other way.

  16. avatar biltongbek says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Reply to Vetgesmeerde Blits @ 1:42 pm: :bangheadt: Jy was veronderstel om die kennisgewings bord te vat. :lol:

  17. avatar biltongbek says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Reply to Ollie @ 3:08 pm: Ollie, I understand that,but what have they been doing for the past 6 years?

  18. avatar FlapjackJoe says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Firstly, I’d just like to thank everyone on here to not perpetuate the same mass hysteria that’s on other sites.

    I’m a Kings fan (have been for years) and obviously very excited about our participation. I’ll just try and live in ignorant bliss about the politics that brought it all about. But I do have to say, it probably came one year too early (or the announcement one year too late).

    It was done in August – that is just shambolic, towards the Lions and the Kings. If SARU said clearly in August 2011 that the Kings were in and the bottom team were out, the Kings’ recruitment drive could’ve been done much better and the Lions wouldn’t be stuck in a situation where they have to pay players’ Super Rugby contracts on a Vodacom Cup income.

    One response to a comment above:

    (3) biltongbek “I understand the Kings want to be competitive, but they should have developed players during the past 5-6 years.”

    –> The Kings have not had an additional revenue stream from Super Rugby like the other franchises. Without money, it’s difficult to develop players. In spite of that, the Kings did develop players during the past 5-6 years, eg. Jacques Potgieter, Lwazi Mvovo and Siya Kolisi. Without money and the ability to offer Super Rugby to those players, the other teams are reaping the rewards of that.

    Thanks to Ollie for this comments towards the bottom. The Kings are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    People are moaning that they were allowed into Super Rugby because they were competitive enough … but then the same people moan when they try and address that situation by recruiting players.

    People are moaning that there are not enough “transformation” players in the team … but then criticise Cheeky Watson when he says that one year isn’t enough to achieve this.

    Those people will seemingly only ever approve of the Kings experiment if they field the University of Fort Hare first team and still finish top of the South African conference.

    Not possible.

    We need to get experienced players in and let academy products train next to them to help them develop; that will take time, which is something the Kings don’t have.

  19. avatar biltongbek says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Reply to FlapjackJoe @ 4:38 pm: Joe, thanks for responding.

    No, I won’t only be happy if “fort hare” is represented.

    I have always believed that if SA was ever to have a franchise in the Eastern cape it would be a waste if they didn’t use all the talent at their disposal.

    I am tired of hearing quotes of “the team is too white” and would love nothing more that even those that want to :pot: have no leg to stand on and forget about quotes like those. In order for that to happen and for nobody to throw the “quota” issue around, we would achieve better transformation if a predominantly black (due to the talent and numbers in the Eastern Cape) team could do well in Super Rugby.

    Imagine the Kings (from grass root development) can be a successful team, then those players will add a totally new dimension to SA rugby, without any politics, nepotism or quotas.

    My issue is with SArU and Cheeky Watson and his collegues.

    This whole thing is a mess, SARU should have sorted this long ago, the Kings however should have communicated their requirements to SARU to be ready for this.

    Now I will almost bet my house on it, that development will take decades.

  20. avatar Morné says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Reply to FlapjackJoe @ 4:38 pm: Reply to biltongbek @ 4:51 pm:

    The issue of transformation in rugby and the Kings franchise should be two completely different issues.

    But in both instances SA Rugby has failed. As much as I am not a fan of Cheeky blaming even him is absurd, he has just become an easy target.

    Why is it only expected of the Kings to ‘transform’ SA rugby? That is not their job – or not only their responsibility, it is the responsibility of SA Rugby and the plans they devise for ALL franchises. And they had almost 20 years to do this now, 8 under Hoskins.

    IMO cricket has been semi-successful in this regard. Why not study how they got some things right?

    Yesterday I saw an interesting graphic – black viewers on SuperSport for the Rugby Championship made up something like 20% or less, on SABC, who by the way had by far the most viewers tuning in to test (even when it was delayed) had close to 60%.

    The reasons for this are obvious, but do you for one second think SA Rugby looks at this and figure out the obvious?

    Transformation apart, since 2005 I had (and still have) absolutely no doubt SA Rugby needs the Kings (or Eastern Cape) in Super Rugby.

    One of my biggest gripes – and it really pisses me off – is how SA Rugby allowed unions to take ownership of Super Rugby franchises. It should NEVER have been allowed to happen – franchises in its concept is REGION based.

    Now people want to attach union history to a competition that has only been going in its current guise since 1996? It is absurd.

    I will repeat this again (for anybody who is willing to listen), the problem in SA Rugby is its leadership, not the unions, not the franchises – they are merely by-products of the mess that is created at the top.

    To sort out, or even debate a problem, identify where the problem lies.

    I have been saying for 7 years Hoskins has done nothing, zero for rugby in this country. He is a weak leader.

  21. avatar FlapjackJoe says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Reply to Morné @ 6:15 pm: I fully, totally, 100% agree. Well said. :applause:

  22. avatar biltongbek says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Reply to Morné @ 6:15 pm: Morne, I get it isn’t the responsibility of one franchise, but transformation in the Eastern Cape by my reckoning should flow with less resistance than other provinces, just my view.

  23. avatar Morné says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Reply to biltongbek @ 6:55 pm:

    At what level?

    School? Club level? Union level? Super Rugby level?

    Chicken and egg.

    Creating a base of players ready or competitive for Super Rugby takes time, whether you include transformation in that or not – just look at the success or lack of it from our leading franchises.

    On the one hand we don’t want the Kings to be an embarrassment at Super Rugby level and to be competitive, and on the other hand we expect them to field black players with club experience or CC 1st division experience at Super Rugby level?

    The Kings are trying to make the most from the hand they have been dealt by SA Rugby. They are trying to buy time to build this base of black talent everybody expects them to have, and the only way to do that is to ensure they don’t get relegated after only one year.

    If SA Rugby, or any of us think for one second that the Kings got what they asked for in this so-called deal handed to them for Super Rugby for next year we are all deluded.

  24. avatar Morné says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Reply to biltongbek @ 6:55 pm:

    Also, the nature of rugby and the importance of transformation in this country will see the top (or in this case, participating) Super Rugby franchises snap up any decent black or coloured rugby player in a heartbeat to ease the pressure on themselves.

    The region, Eastern Cape, have been developing exciting young, black and coloured rugby players for years now, they can be found in most teams that has enjoyed Super Rugby participation.

  25. avatar biltongbek says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Reply to Morné @ 7:34 pm: Then perhaps it is time SARU implements a draft system that prevents the three “wealthy” franchises to simply buy talent, and that goes for all players, not just certain players.

    This is a problem that not only the Eastern Cape faces, but the Cheetahs and Lions to a lesser degree.

  26. avatar Morné says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Reply to biltongbek @ 8:24 pm:

    Precisely, central contracting has been talked about for years – but the point is, all problems point back to SA Rugby.

  27. avatar Boertjie says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    AFAIK the EC always argued they had
    the black talent.
    Now they want to buy white talent
    to help them through.
    The obvious thing would have been to
    ease them into S15 by means of competing
    in the A section of CC.

    That was not their demand: Their demand
    from the very beginning was a place in
    the S15.
    Pity SARU gave in to it, rather than let
    them follow the obvious route – i.e.
    promotion on MERIT and not politics.

    We have a no-winners situation.

  28. avatar Boertjie says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    And as I write they are being fooked
    by the Pumas.

  29. avatar Boertjie says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    OK, in the end they managed a draw.
    In an empty stadium.
    You want me to support a team lead
    by that arch arsehole and his dad?
    :Rule 9:

  30. avatar Ollie says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Reply to Boertjie @ 8:38 pm:

    No Boertjie, they are bringing in experience to help them out in a tough spot. Unfortunately the majority of experience in SA is still white.

    Reply to Boertjie @ 9:09 pm:

    They managed a draw by scoring 2 tries with 14 players on the field, but that is immaterial as the S15 team will be different to the one on the field now.

    And don’t forget, a team is more than 1 player. I detested Naas Botha for a long time, doesn’t mean I didn’t watch the Boks

  31. avatar Boertjie says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Reply to Ollie @ 9:21 pm:

    Who created the tough spot?
    Who forced Saru’s hand for
    immediate promotion to S15?

    Come again.

  32. avatar Ollie says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Reply to Boertjie @ 9:30 pm:

    Who indeed, Boetjie? The Kings? Or should I say, The Spears? Remember them and the promise they were made years ago?

    If they don’t fight for the opportunity they got then when will the Eastern Cape get another shot at getting a franchise?

    They have been, as you say, forcing SARU’s hand because they had no other option. If you were in their place you would do the same and then still push to make it more fair while you still could. Do you think somebody like Louis Luyt would have done it any different he was from the EC?

    His tactic might have been different, but he would have fought tooth and nail to get the Kings in and continue fighting with everything he had to get a fair deal.

    Don’t blame the Kings for the screw up that SARU originally caused through inept decisions. The whole thing could have been done a lot more fluently and in a more organised amiable way from the beginning, but that is hardly the Kings’ fault. Remember McKeever on here a year or 2 ago showing all the bugger ups from SARU?

  33. avatar Ollie says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    But that’s me out for now on the subject, see you in the S15

  34. avatar Boertjie says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Reply to Ollie @ 9:57 pm:

    If they don’t fight for the opportunity they got then when will the Eastern Cape get another shot at getting a franchise?
    ——
    I never heard McKeever or Twatson say:
    “Help us, promote us to CC, give us a
    chance to get to the S15 ON MERIT.”
    They wanted a quick fix.
    Like the ANC, who wants to empower the
    poor masses without providing them a
    decent education, instead lowering the
    pass rate to 30%.

  35. avatar Ollie says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Reply to Boertjie @ 10:03 pm:

    Actually I think McKeevers original plan had something not far from that. But besides that, I never heard SARU saying anything like, “We’ll help you get your structures sorted and get you into the CC so that you can prove yourself over 5 years, then we will have a look at how you have progressed and plan from there”

    Besides on what MERIT where the Lions in the S15? What is wrong with the relegation match each year? All it means is that the Lions are out for 1 year, time for them to get their shit in order. What are they afraid of?

  36. avatar Boertjie says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Reply to Ollie @ 10:09 pm:

    What is wrong with the relegation match each year?
    —-
    Why only next year?
    What about this year?
    Or the end of next year to gain access
    to the S15?
    They will never be relegated, not in the
    current political setup.

  37. avatar Timeo says:
    September 22nd, 2012 at 4:47 am

    Easy.

    Say yes.

    Allow them to contract as many players of whatever type in order to be as competitive as possible.
    This is in the interest of all teams, as few fans will pay to watch substandard rugby.

    I’m willing to bet that +80% of the fans at Kings home-games will be of the white type anyway and they will care much more about watching a quality team, than where the players were born.

  38. avatar Timeo says:
    September 22nd, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Reply to Boertjie @ 10:03 pm:

    The way I recall it the Spears were promised CC participation at some point but then Griquas kicked up a fuss and the Spears’ partners were bribed to shut it down.

  39. avatar Timeo says:
    September 22nd, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Reply to Morné @ 6:15 pm:

    “One of my biggest gripes – and it really pisses me off – is how SA Rugby allowed unions to take ownership of Super Rugby franchises. It should NEVER have been allowed to happen – franchises in its concept is REGION based.”

    If one take a cursory look at the SR results in the “franchise” period (’98 – ’05) and compare that with the results in the “union” period (the other years), then it seems the “union” period results are considerably better.

    Why on earth would one want to go back to a system that produced failure?

  40. avatar Morné says:
    September 22nd, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Reply to Boertjie @ 10:03 pm:

    Actually quite wrong.

    McKeever did suggest just this as Timeo said. He even suggested promotion/relegation games prior to just being given a spot. He was shut out every single time.

    Reply to Timeo @ 5:14 am:

    That system seem to work pretty well for NZ don’t you think?

    And what union results are you referring to? In which years? Surely not CC?

  41. avatar Boertjie says:
    September 22nd, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Reply to Morné @ 8:26 am:

    I thought CC always had promotion/relegation
    coupled to the competition.
    So what stood in the way of McKeever – apart
    from the Saru money that was squandered when
    EP and Border were saved from bankruptcy?

  42. avatar Morné says:
    September 22nd, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Reply to Boertjie @ 9:33 am:

    In 2004 the Spears were ‘guaranteed entry’ into Super Rugby in 2006 when it expanded from Super 12, to Super 14.

    To allow them to build their base they would also be guaranteed entry into the CC premier division prior to this.

    As Timeo mentioned, a stink was kicked up because of this and effectively, as you know, there was no entry into Super Rugby either.

    The argument was never CC entry, or promotion/relegation there – that would merely have been used to prepare them for the actual issue, Super Rugby.

    The argument of having the Spears/Kings ‘prove’ themselves in CC is silly, as the Currie Cup has never been used for qualification into Super Rugby since 1998.

    The argument was the entitlement of the 5 franchises’ to Super Rugby and on what grounds that was based since franchises were supposed to entitle REGIONS to participation.

    Similar to how franchises used the Currie Cup to built depth for Super Rugby the Spears would have been afforded the same opportunity. Non-Springboks for Super Rugby would inevitably join the franchises Currie Cup teams so their stranglehold on the so-called entitlement through Currie Cup performances (as an excuse on why they deserve Super Rugby participation) would continue and of course similarly, was the counter argument of why the Kings should not join Super Rugby because they are shit in the CC.

    Forget the Currie Cup, it has long lost its value other than an area to build for Super Rugby.

    The question is the entitlement of franchises in Super Rugby despite their piss-poor performances at the level.

    If current franchises are allowed to use it to build for their Super Rugby campaigns, why not the Spears?

    Here is another one for you, where do you think the Lions will end up next year in the Currie Cup?

  43. avatar Boertjie says:
    September 22nd, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Reply to Morné @ 10:38 am:

    franchises were supposed to entitle REGIONS to participation.
    ——-
    The Spears would have been a franchise including
    Border and SWD = Southern Cape region.
    Are the Kings now going it as EP only?

  44. avatar Timeo says:
    September 22nd, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Reply to Morné @ 8:26 am:

    No. Compare SR results for the years 98 to 05 with the years 06 to current since the big unions effectively stiffed the franchise system around that time.

    And whether it works or not in NZ is really immaterial. Culture, geography, politics, history is all too different

  45. avatar Morné says:
    September 22nd, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Reply to Boertjie @ 11:33 am:

    EP and Border, apparently some issues between SWD and EP.

    Reply to Timeo @ 3:32 pm:

    Why do you believe unions did not stiffed franchises before ’06? Why was the Cats formed? So we have all 5 top unions in Super Rugby perhaps?

    And whether it works in NZ is immaterial? Really?

    If they did not kick our asses in every format of rugby in the last 20 years I would have believed what works for them (or not) is immaterial – guess what…

    NZ runs a 14-team based domestic competition (similar to our Currie Cup) with great success, no cricket scores, close games all-round and a winning formula that takes rugby all over their country.

    NZ has a central contracting system that ensures that NZ rugby controls the welfare of their top players.

    In NZ you have ex-current-potential All Blacks playing for teams like Hawkes Bay, Northland, Bay of Plenty in their domestic competition because those unions (similar to our Pumas, Leopards, Border, SWD, etc) can afford to contract them while they are part of a regional SR franchise on a central contracting system.

    Just today I read that one of the Franks brothers is going to the Canes for Super Rugby next year because too much prop talent is sitting in Canterbury (distribution of talent).

    Two days ago I read how Rassie Erasmus said that Bok management has no control over their player because franchises holds the primary contract and therefore controls their game time, fitness, conditioning etc.

    I am not saying copy NZ rugby.

    But for fuck sake there is no point in re-inventing the wheel either – obviously some shit works, as has been proven.

  46. avatar FlapjackJoe says:
    September 24th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    One more thing.

    When will the promotion/relegation game take place? Probably towards the end of July.

    South African players that are currently playing in Europe will finish playing in May. If they receive an offer from a European team, or one from a South African Super Rugby franchise that might or might not play Super Rugby the following season, who do you think they’ll go for?

    This is a great way to NOT get any players back into South Africa.

  47. avatar Timeo says:
    September 24th, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Reply to Morné @ 9:18 pm:

    The reason I see no point in discussing copying New Zeeland is because we do not know enough about the situation there. Unless one can be sure that what you are copying is the reason for, and how it relates their success, so that one can be sure it will have the same effect in SA, it is a waste of time.

    To me the differences between NZ and SA are significant enough to judge that what works there is unlikely to work in SA. They have a more unified culture, they have a more compact geography, they have never had to deal with a hostile government or had to appoint anyone based on race.

    What I mosr object to with any kind of centrally controlled system is that it will be as weak or as strong as the entity in control. In this case that entity is SARU. According to you, SARU is poorly managed with weak leadership. Then why would you want them to run the whole show? Imaging what a royal cock-up we would have had now if the person/s running the GLRU for the last decade have been in control of all 5 SR franchises also.

    In contrast, a decentralized, competitive system acts like an ideas laboratory, where the good ideas are verified by success and the bad ideas are exposed by failure.

    I used the period ’98 to ’04 as the barometer because clearly there was a re-organization in ’98 with brand new names like “the Stormers” and where certain functions, appointing the coach for example, were controlled by SARU, and by around ’05 or ’06 the major unions had managed to take control of everything again.

    Smack in the middle of that period must be the two worst SR seasons for SA teams.
    2002: Placed 7th, 10th, 11th and 12th.
    2003: Placed 6th, 9th, 11 and 12th.
    Unless you can convince me of some other reason for those results, I’ll maintain that SARU’s re-org was responsible and I’ll be opposed to any hint of that system being resurrected.

    The Cats certainly looked like a regional franchise to me. What else do you call, combining Free State, Transvaal and others into some sort of equal partnership, a combination name and a floating home-field.

  48. avatar Timeo says:
    September 24th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I also want to point out that talking about SARU as an entity separate from the unions is a misnomer.

    SARU is a confederation of unions. All SARU’s actions are the actions of the majority of unions. If there is a conflict of interest between SARU and some unions, it is really a conflict between a majority and minority of member unions.

    If we say that “SARU, should be in control”, what we are really saying is that a majority of unions should be in control. The problem I have with that is that, in SA, there are eight unions with a sum total of almost zero fans. If this majority without fans, is in control, there is a good possibility that their actions will not be very fan oriented.

  49. avatar Morné says:
    September 25th, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Reply to Timeo @ 11:33 pm:

    If you want to know how it works simply ask. I can post many links for you but a good place to start is http://www.rugbyjourney.com and http://www.iamjonnyking.com – not only would you find articles relating to structures in NZ, he actually compares them to the structures in SA rugby – the flaws or problems of this system in NZ is also discussed. Look through the archives.

    Your example of the period you highlight is also misleading, if memory serves the SA Rugby appointed coach experiment lasted all of 2 years before it was dropped. Also, what exactly was SA Rugby’s influence with the franchises? You only use this one example of coaches.

    98, Sharks were in the semis
    99, Stormers had a home semi
    00, Lions made the semis
    01, Sharks and Lions in semis
    04, Stormers
    05, Bulls.

    So with the exception of 02 and 03 SA had a team in the semis.

    It goes without saying that if SA Rugby had to adopt such a system, structural changes would be required. The contracting of these players would fall under the responsibilities of the national coach, and a person like Rassie Erasmus who is responsible for the continuity and well being of our top players through all age-groups.

    SARU’s job is to look after all unions in South Africa, so of course the input of these unions are necessary. As much as I agree that the tail cannot wag the dog as it currently does, SA Rugby taking responsibility such as contracting and managing a draft system (which is managed by a team of individuals, not the Exco) will go a long way in them actively engaging in rugby matters with the view of a unified approach.

    Unions will fight for their bit in the sun as is expected – but then the point of separating franchises and unions as I mentioned will go a long way in accomplishing this. A draft or de-listing system in SA Rugby will allow SA Rugby to distribute top talent across franchises irrespective of what union they present. We can then revert to a 14-team Currie Cup where all union’s ranks can be bolstered by experienced Super Rugby players (pretty similar to how Griquas can afford 30% of their current player base thanks to Cheetahs).

    So your point about unions managing this is a bit ingenious.

    For the record, I called Hoskins a weak leader (and still do) – but I have seen a major change within SA Rugby in the last year since Roux got involved and from a media side, Andy C.

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