Representatives of the 14 unions that make up the professional rugby landscape in South Africa will meet this morning to finally vote on the thorny issue of Super Rugby participation for 2013. After a huge amount of to-ing and fro-ing to date, we’re told that it will all come down to a very simple matter this morning – a straight vote as to whether the Southern Kings should replace the Golden Lions in Super Rugby as from next year.
A clear commitment was made earlier in the year that the Kings would be added to the competition roster next year, but since that commitment was seemingly made without having done any sort of due diligence as to its actual feasibility (and given the fact that several similar promises to both the Kings and their predecessors, the Southern Spear, have already been broken), we shouldn’t be too surprised if the voters opt to retain the status quo. There will be fall-out, though and reading between the lines, it seems that SA Rugby are still desperately hoping that the Kings will accept a promise of automatic Currie Cup premier division status, along with a sizeable pay-off, as an alternative to Super Rugby participation next year.
Their management has insisted, though, that they cannot be bought, making such a last-minute deal quite unlikely.
With the Lions currently involved in a nasty spat with both the Pumas and the Leopards over the sharing of Super Rugby revenues, they can be sure that those two unions, at least, will vote against their survival, as will the three unions comprising the Kings franchise, EP, Border and South Western Districts. That leaves eight other unions (assuming the Lions administration can figure out how to tick the right box themselves, which given their track record may be a long shot) free to be lobbied by either side, with SARU head Oregan Hoskins given a tie-breaking vote.
Whatever the result, though, it will be good to finally, finally, have some clarity on this matter after months of speculation and uncertainty.Tweet