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Ken Borland

SA Super franchise to lose place

Posted on January 27, 2012 by Ken

One of South Africa’s current five Super Rugby franchises will lose their place in the southern hemisphere provincial competition after the South African Rugby Union (Saru) confirmed on Friday that the Southern Kings will enter the competition in 2013.

That means one of the existing franchises – the Stormers, Sharks, Bulls, Cheetahs or Lions – will be out of the lucrative tournament, unless Saru can somehow convince Sanzar (South Africa-New Zealand-Australia rugby) to allow a sixth South African team to play in the competition.

“The Kings’ place in the Super Rugby competition in 2013 was confirmed by the general council, who gave it 100% support,” Saru chief executive Jurie Roux told a news conference in Cape Town on Friday.

“A final decision on the fate of the other five franchises will be made at a special general meeting on March 30 after the council has considered recommendations by the unions. There are a number of options, including asking Sanzar to include a sixth South African team,” Roux said.

The Southern Kings are based in the Eastern Cape – the hotbed of black rugby – and their inclusion in Super Rugby has been backed by politicians and those unhappy with the pace of transformation in South African rugby. None of their constituent teams – Eastern Province, South-Western Districts and Border – play in the premier division of South Africa’s domestic Currie Cup competition.

Eastern Province were beaten 43-12 by Boland in last year’s First Division final.

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