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Küun: ‘Let’s help build Kings franchise’


Written by Wesley Weber (wpw)

Posted in :2009 Lions Tour, In the news, Other SA Teams on 15 Jun 2009 at 12:49
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Derick Küun, hooker of the victorious Bulls Super 14 team, has made a passionate plea to the other South African outfits to throw their collective weight behind the formation of the new Eastern Cape franchise, the Super Kings.

The EC franchise will be formally launched when Küun leads them out against the touring British and Irish Lions at the purpose-build Nelson Mandela Bay stadium on Tuesday – in front of what may well be a world record crowd for a non-Test fixture against the B&I Lions.

Speaking to rugby365.com, after a training run in Port Elizabeth, Küun said the need for a strong rugby team in the Eastern Cape is very evident.

He described Tuesday’s encounter with the world’s most famous touring team, the B&I Lions, as “something very unique” and said it could be the ideal launchpad for the new franchise -hoping for entry into Super Rugby when the SANZAR competition is expanded in 2011.

“As we all know, the Southern Kings are trying to launch a franchise that can compete in the Super 15,” Küun told rugby365, adding: “And it is a great privilege for us to lay a solid foundation for them.”

He said the entire team, which includes eight players with current or former Bulls affiliations, are looking forward to the occasion.

“Many of us would not have played against the Lions [was it not for the invitation to join the Kings] and we now have this opportunity, so we are going to make the most of it,” the hooker said.

He felt it is vitally important, for South African rugby in general, that there is a strong franchise in the Eastern Cape.

“It is certainly important that we help them [the Kings] get off the ground,” Küun told rugby365.

“Just look at the history of how important rugby was in the Eastern Cape,” he said, adding: “Eastern Province was one of the powerhouses of South African rugby and for many this is where rugby started.

“When we arrived here [in Port Elizabeth for the Kings versus Lions game] you could see there was something missing.

“These people can’t travel to other big centres [like Cape Town, Pretoria or Johannesburg] to watch rugby and the people are in need of something like this.

“Even for South Africa in general it would be great if there could be a strong franchise.”

* Meanwhile the people of Port Elizabeth, or Nelson Mandela Bay as the city is now dubbed, are hoping to set a new world record for a non-Test match on a British and Irish Lions tour.

By Monday morning 35000 tickets have already been sold for Tuesday’s showdown between the Kings and the touring Lions.

The current record for the highest number of tickets sold at a non-Test game against the Lions stands at 38000, set at a match between the Lions and New Zealand’s Waikato Chiefs in 2005.

The Eastern Province Rugby Union was confident it could exceed this target and has its sights set on 40000 ticket sales.

EPRU Chief Executive Anele Pamba told the media that the union was “confident” of reaching the target, which excludes 7000 complimentary tickets which have already been given away.

“We are about to break that record; I know we can definitely do it,” Pamba said.

Kings team manager Zola Yeye, a former Springbok team manager, was very excited about the prospect that the launch of the new Southern Kings franchise could set an attendance record in its first game.

“The people are hungry for rugby and this is very exciting,” he told rugby365.



22 Comments

  • ‘By Monday morning 35000 tickets have already been sold for Tuesday’s showdown between the Kings and the touring Lions.’

    :shock: :shock:

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.06.09 12:52:49 by wpw Reply
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    wpwAssistant coach
     
  • Why look at the obvious (ticket sales) or listen to players that have now experienced the area and people?

    Surely every single guy was right before when they said this region does not deserve a franchise…

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.06.09 13:13:16 by Morné Reply
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    MornéTeam captain
     
  • …. hoping for entry into Super Rugby when the SANZAR competition is expanded in 2001. :wink: im almost sure this is 2009, can anyone confirm.

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.06.09 13:19:46 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Guess what, the tickets are also affordable.

    Rumour is that unsold tickets will also be given away. Not sure to who though.

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.06.09 13:21:00 by Ollie Reply

    OllieVodacom Cup player
     
  • I think the cheaper tickets are going for R75 or so

  • Comment 5, posted at 15.06.09 13:24:29 by Ollie Reply

    OllieVodacom Cup player
     
  • Does anybody know about the sharks playing the pumas this past weekend?

  • Comment 6, posted at 15.06.09 13:26:27 by FarFarShark Reply

    Academy recruit
     
  • @JarsonX (Comment 3) : its 2011

  • Comment 7, posted at 15.06.09 13:30:00 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @FarFarShark (Comment 6) : is it this weekend?

  • Comment 8, posted at 15.06.09 13:30:45 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @war1 (Comment 8) : it’s the 3rd of july at 18:00 SA time

  • Comment 9, posted at 15.06.09 13:33:15 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @Morné (Comment 2) : they cant do any worse than the cheetahs and lions, maybe a little worse

  • Comment 10, posted at 15.06.09 13:34:53 by JarsonX Reply
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  • No according to some sharkssupporters.co.za website it was the 13th of june 2009?

  • Comment 11, posted at 15.06.09 13:37:09 by FarFarShark Reply

    Academy recruit
     
  • @war1 (Comment 7) : really??? :shock: where have i been the last 2 years, who won the S14 in 2010, did the Boks beat the B&I Lions :???:

  • Comment 12, posted at 15.06.09 13:37:58 by JarsonX Reply
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  • IMO the Kings might win tomorrow, the Lions will not be fielding their strongest or 1st choice squad

  • Comment 13, posted at 15.06.09 13:42:30 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 12) : well, you can’t hope for things to happen when they already happened, so I guess he was saying that they were hoping for entry into the super15 which starts in 2011

  • Comment 14, posted at 15.06.09 13:43:22 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @FarFarShark (Comment 11) : sarugby.net website fixtures say 3rd of july

  • Comment 15, posted at 15.06.09 13:44:47 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @war1 (Comment 14) : i know what he meant, i was just yanking his chain :lol: btw its fixed now

  • Comment 16, posted at 15.06.09 13:46:19 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 13) : i think it will be a close match, but the lions will just win coz they have crazy bmt, most sides would have lost at least one of the three close games they had thus far, unless their luck has run out

  • Comment 17, posted at 15.06.09 13:48:56 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @FarFarShark (Comment 11) : ignore that site

  • Comment 18, posted at 15.06.09 13:50:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • If they lose by less than 30 they can be in 2011 super 15. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 19, posted at 15.06.09 13:56:14 by Rahul Reply

    RahulCurrie Cup player
     
  • Weird. The attendance record stands at 38000, with ALL tickets sold (probably). The Kings total is 35000 thus far with 7000 complimentary tickets already GIVEN AWAY! WOW hey! And those not sold also to be given away. If I stayed in PE, you would find me in THAT que with not a cent on me :-D

  • Comment 20, posted at 16.06.09 08:42:01 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

    JustPlainSHARKCurrie Cup player
     
  • @JustPlainSHARK (Comment 20) : that’s the spirit!

  • Comment 21, posted at 16.06.09 10:19:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Rahul (Comment 19) : nah – teams with no current Boks are expected to lose by no more than 3 points against the Lions dirt-trackers.

  • Comment 22, posted at 16.06.09 10:20:34 by robdylan Reply
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