The debacle surrounding the South Africa’s new entrant in Super Rugby – the Southern Kings – has not gone unnoticed in New Zealand.
The EP Rugby Union is in dire straits with Kings players not having received their salaries the last few months.
This led to the South African Rugby Union (SARU) stepping in to take control of matters.
However, the Super Rugby tournament is fast approaching and the Kings’ squad for next season is yet to be unveiled.
Wynne Gray, a columnist for the New Zealand Herald, has taken note of the whole Kings debacle and expressed his concern ahead of next year’s expanded 18-team Super Rugby tournament.
“Don’t tell me it’s a surprise. Don’t ask for compassion or moderation in our judgements about the Kings involvement in next year’s expanded Super rugby series,” he wrote.
“They have been a basket case for some time and now the bamboo is shredding at a terrible rate.”
Despite SARU taking over the Kings’ matters, Gray feels the on-going shambles reflects poorly on the tournament.
He also expressed concern about the new team from Japan, the Sunwolves, but expects Argentina’s Los Jaguares outfit to hold their heads high.
“It (the Kings’ issues) will worry South Africans living here, others who take a keen interest in teams in the Republic and will be an immense concern for those who administer SANZAR.
“The continued argument for heavy South African involvement in Super rugby is based on their television rights and that broader impact of coverage through Europe.
“However for those of us who think the latest expansion chapter and pools concept is flawed-Argentina is an exception from reports about their squad and planning – the fiasco at the Kings is no surprise and is a result of a blemished idea.
“If you are interested in rugby and want to see a decent Super rugby series then you should be concerned about the 2016 version, especially the South African section.”
A little over 11 weeks remain until the start of Super Rugby 2016, when the Kings make their return to the tournament with a home fixture against the Sharks at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on February 27.