I have had the pleasure of chatting to a SARU official about the goings on in South African rugby at the moment, and was somewhat surprised by what I have learnt. Much is contrary to the general consensus in the media today.
Last week I ran an article headed ‘SARU get it wrong again’, which discussed and questioned SARU’s forward thinking by planning the promotion/relegation matches between the Lions and the lowest ranked South African team in Super Rugby and the play-off’s to the Super Rugby season over the same weekends. This would require Lions players on loan to other South African franchises to return to the Lions earlier than upon completion of the Super Rugby, in the case of a South African team reaching the play-off stage.
Contrary to what was said in my article, it has come to light that the decision to have the above mentioned matches over the same weekends was in fact not a SARU decision, but a decision taken by the franchises. The franchises accepted the roster as it stands today, and cannot blame anybody but themselves for not seeing this beforehand. Furthermore, the fixture schedule this year is jam packed as it is, with the Currie Cup literally starting the week after Super Rugby finishes, it does make it rather tricky to schedule the promotion/relegation match at any other point.
The last thing either team would want is to have the match later in the year, as it cuts the time required to build a Super Rugby outfit, something the Kings are currently complaining about.
On that note, there was some support for the Kings to be allowed to play additional foreign players, the reason being that they have only had a few months to put together a team and that it is unfair to expect the team to be competitive from the start. This is not true, as the Kings have known since 2011 that they would be playing Super Rugby, whether it be by way of expanding the competition to allow an extra team, or to relegate the lowest finishing team from the 2012 season. The fact remains, the Kings knew, but didn’t do much about it until this year.
At the end of the day, you as the reader deserves to know the true facts of the story, and I have learnt a lesson in this process, that facts always come before what you want to believe.Tweet