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.

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  1. Thanks for the hint, JT!

    Seems like the only solution.
    Well done Saru!
    I hope the Lions can retain a few players.

  2. It depends on your point of view and character.
    News24 posting

    selma.botha.9 – July 15, 2012 at 21:27
    Report comment
    When the Natal team (under the captaincy of Wynand Claasen) in 1982 were relegated to the Currie Cup B section and as they battled against teams such as the Purple People Eaters (Northern Freestate), Doc Craven, in a bold move, primarily to save Natal Rugby, (we were about 500 spectators at Kings Park in those dark days) amended the Currie Cup A section to include 8 teams. A move which eventually lead the Natal team to win the Currie Cup in the year of their centenary celebrations with a win over Naas Botha’s Blue Bulls at Loftus in 1990. I am not saying that SARU’s or the Watson’s intensions are honourable and in the best interest of rugby but I do recall with very fond memories the wonderful rugby the Eastern Province Union and the club Dispatch used to dish up at Currie Cup level and the Toyota Easter Club Rugby weekend. I should be delighted to see them contest in the Currie Cup again and work their way into the Super 16 (too much rugby). Maybe they can be the fairytale that the Natal side was. R40 000 000 does not sound like much to me. I predict that this was merely the first tranche SARU will hand out. The Lions and Freestate will have to dig deep to rebuild their unions

  3. Well there’s a surprise… Cheeky got all he set out to and then some (and in a far shorter time-frame than even he could have imagined)…

  4. I say a historic opportunity was missed here.

    Nobody wants 16 teams now and nobody will want it in 2 years from now.

    What if the last placed team is the Stormers or the Sharks then?
    Who do you relegate?

  5. Too many denials, counter accusations, when will the real story come out or am I being naive?

  6. Its a pity. I would like Kings to play and for REST of SA to form one team based in Potch (due to Sport Science institute) to make up 5th team.

    Brumbies-like vibe.

  7. Reply to Stormersboy @ 9:17 am:

    No official word yet from Saru.
    Friday was the “deadline” for this
    Anyway R40 million is not nearly enough.
    R400 million?
    Wat hulle wáár kry?
    This is like a nightmare – Jurie Roux
    goes to sleep every night, hoping it
    will be gone the next morning.

  8. One wonders how much the “fee” will be that whoever negotiated this deal will get?

  9. With the current state of the Lions,
    Ellispark needing serious maintenance
    and Doornfontein a no-go area . . .

    I was told you need a taxi to take you from
    the parking garage to the stadium gates –
    and then still pray you don’t get mugged.

  10. Hardly surprising – even Mr Watson must realise that leapfrogging the Currie Cup straight into Superugby was a bridge too far. Sanity seems at last to prevail and the Kings walk off R40m richer – is there no accountability for stuff ups like this within SARU?

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