Time to adopt the Kings

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 20 Jul 2010 at 07:30
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

The Eastern Province Kings are on the up, having brought in a top coach in Alan Solomons and a fair few class players. Their goal is to win the Currie Cup first division and secure promotion to the premier division next year and the Sharks should explore ways in which to work more closely with their near-neighbours, to the mutual benefit of both unions.

I’m talking, of course, about a player-sharing deal very similar to the one employed by Free State and the Griffons, where players on the fringe of the Cheetahs squad are regularly sent up the road to Welkom to stay match sharp by playing for the Griffons in the first division. The situation tends to be a little ridiculous there, though, as one feels like the Griffons team never has a chance to train together as they’re always looking to integrate whichever players happen to have been cut from the Cheetahs team on a Thursday afternoon – for the Sharks and the Kings to work together, there would need to be a somewhat more formal arrangement in place, with players released to the Bay for the duration of the Currie Cup season.

The Kings are working desperately to attract quality players to the region, but with regular Super 15 rugby still a long way off, it’s not going to be easy to lure the sort of quality that they need – certainly not in the numbers necessary to assemble a squad with the necessary depth to ensure promotion (and ultimately that elusive Super 15 spot). The Sharks are always in the position of having more promising players than they can realistically give game time to and it would make sense to investigate a quid pro quo arrangement with somebody like the Kings. The focus should very much be on a short-term arrangement; you give our players game time and we’ll help you get to the premier division. After that, we go our separate ways, unless we can find a similarly mutual arrangement in seasons to come. Certainly, while the Sharks and Kings are playing in the same competition – or worse, competing for a limited number of Super 15 places – any suggestion of co-operation would go out of the window.

Right now, though, this arrangement could work, particularly as the return of injured players such as Willem Alberts, Jean Deysel, Gerhard Mostert, Odwa Ndungane, Adi Jacobs and Bismarck du Plessis starts to necessitate the cutting of fringe players from the Sharks Currie Cup group. Players like Justin Downey, Anton Bresler, Luvoyiso Lusaseni, Jerome Pretorius and Jean Stemmet are too good to be playing club rugby, yet are realistically unlikely to get much of a look-in for the Sharks once the regulars return. More to the point, they are all too old to play under 21 rugby, meaning that the Currie Cup first division is probably about the best level of competition they could be exposed to at this stage of the year. Even a guy like Kyle Cooper, who is still under 21, could probably learn a huge amount by playing regular senior rugby for the Kings once Bismarck du Plessis returns in earnest.


  • Interesting thinking Rob. I like this idea . I guess the only problem would be that EP wouldnt want to have a situation where their players are not really their own, especially if they are looking to build a team for super rugby. Also it would undermine the claim that EP have great youth and talent that generally migrates elsewhere (if they resort to importing sharks leftovers) Having said that though, they would benefit from having a better chance of qualifying for the premier division and the sharks would benefit from keeping the cobwebs off the fringe players.

  • Comment 1, posted at 20.07.10 07:42:41 by Pablo Dinero Reply
    Pablo Dinero
  • Pablo, I get what you’re saying (and it was exactly the reason that I got really annoyed when the Sharks borrowed a Bulls player for the Super 14). Fact is, though, not too many big players are going to cast in their lot with EP while they’re in the Currie Cup first division. They need to do whatever it takes to get promoted – then they can start building.

  • Comment 2, posted at 20.07.10 07:54:33 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • oh – and another thing. Anybody noticed how many Sharks “leftovers” are already in the \kings squad? Mox Mxoli, Nolan Clark, Jacques Potgieter, Mzwandile Stick…

  • Comment 3, posted at 20.07.10 07:55:43 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Springbok team announced.

    Kanko starts at 7
    January out of 22 Ruan starting
    CJ out BJ in
    Aplon in for JdV

  • Comment 4, posted at 20.07.10 08:01:23 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Pokkel (Comment 4) : I’m on it

  • Comment 5, posted at 20.07.10 08:18:46 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • very good idea Rob. Unfortunately nobody within SA Rugby trusts each other.

    Sharks will be afraid to let any half decent players go to EP for fear of them being cultivated by the EP crowd to move there when they are up for new contracts.

  • Comment 6, posted at 20.07.10 08:45:37 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • If ego’s allow it this is a great idea.

  • Comment 7, posted at 20.07.10 08:51:58 by billy Reply

  • You reckon strooli and solomons won’t trust each other? 😯

  • Comment 8, posted at 20.07.10 08:56:03 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @billy (Comment 7) :

    100% correct.

  • Comment 9, posted at 20.07.10 08:56:19 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) :

    More likely that Strooli and Cheeky will butt heads!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 10, posted at 20.07.10 09:16:45 by wpw Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) :


    We have an awesome crop of youngsters and the Kings are looking for players for the future. recipe for disaster

  • Comment 11, posted at 20.07.10 10:23:22 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • This could absolutely work. It’s much like the current Lions/sharks arrangement. The Lions develop the players, then they move down to durban 😆 😆 😆

  • Comment 12, posted at 20.07.10 14:40:21 by Greg Reply

  • Would be an excellent idea, it would mean that players on fringes are exposed to the highest level possible, and will not be tempted to go oversea’s in order to secure top-class rugby.

  • Comment 13, posted at 20.07.10 15:29:17 by Mole Reply


Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.