What to do with our sixth SupeRugby side?

Written by Stephen Smith (StevieS)

Posted in :EP Kings, Original Content, Reader Submissions, Super Rugby on 26 Jan 2012 at 12:01
Tagged with : , ,

How do we accommodate a sixth Super Rugby side and keep everyone happy (I am going to operate on the assumption that South Africa will continue to have six franchises. This seems logical as there has been no indication to the contrary.)?

I, for one, of am the opinion that forcing the current franchises to play the Kings is an empty gesture if that is the measure of SARU’s ‘help’ and the measure of the King’s game time during the current year. It is a start and a step in the right direction, but that is all it is. More needs to be done. I have some ideas on what could be done.

1. SARU must ensure that the Kings receives enough game time against quality opposition to attract spectators to the games. This will have a tripple benefit for the Kings in that a) they will build a solid support base in the community, b) they will bring in valuable gate revenues, without which a franchise cannot survive, and c) the players will receive valuable game time against quality opposition. This will only benefit Bok rugby as the talent pool increases.

2. SARU must ensure that all King’s games are televised. Without this exposure no sponsors will be willing to come on board.

3. The Kings (and whoever in future gets dropped for them, if that happens) must organise games against the international teams touring South Africa (i.e. this year they could have played against England).

4. The Kings should be willing to travel to other countries to play friendlies against quality opposition (the Force want to play against a Currie Cup team during their three week break during the international window, why don’t they play against the Kings?). They must actively seek these games, not only to expose their players to quality opposition, but also to expose their brand to the world. These friendlies could include the following:

– Playing Argentina as a warm-up before the Rugby Championship kicks off
– Playing against the Six Nations teams as a warm-up for them
– Playing against New Zealand or Australian Super Rugby teams (why just stick to our local sides?)

5. The Kings should continue to represent South Africa in the Nations Cup. The Team can be known as the South African Kings (or South African Bulls, South African Lions etc.).

6. SARU can negotiate to have the Kings join an overseas league such as the Heineken Cup, Pro12 etc. This would add spice to fixtures and would ensure great interest from the media, sponsors and the rugby public in general.

7. A promotion-relegation series of matches must be played at the end of the year between the Kings and the team finishing last in the South African conference. This will be played over three matches (if required) on a home-and-away basis.

The possibilities are endless, but someone needs to take the initiative and do something decisive, otherwise there will be major unhappiness and rugby will be the big loser at the end of the day.


  • A few very valid points raised here..

    Let’s hope someone at SARU is taking notes..

  • Comment 1, posted at 26.01.12 12:24:33 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • every body must remember you don’t become a good rugby team over night . it takes time . you need to attract and develop youngsters .

    and it may take long for the Kings to step up . SARU might have to pump money into them for the next 10 or 20 years before seeing any results

  • Comment 2, posted at 26.01.12 12:34:03 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Maybe someone who is more knowledgable can help me here, do the Kings have a youth structure? Like an academy?

    If so, how good is it? Is there anything happening down there to attract top school leaving players?

  • Comment 3, posted at 26.01.12 12:35:43 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • Why don’t we rather wait for them to win the CC 1st Div first. no use pushing someone that far if he doesn’t have the capabiltites to improve.

  • Comment 4, posted at 26.01.12 12:36:46 by MJ Reply

  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 1) : Thanks 🙂

    There is a youth structure down there and they are, or so I have heard, managing to retain some of their top schools talent. I know Robbie Kempson was running it, but I’m not sure what the latest news is.

    @MJ (Comment 4) : They are trying to put the right structures in place, and I think we have to accept that the Kings will be a part of the landscape in the future.

  • Comment 5, posted at 26.01.12 12:43:19 by StevieS Reply
  • @MJ (Comment 4) : the Kings won 1st Div Currie Cup in 2010 and were in the final in 2011.

  • Comment 6, posted at 26.01.12 12:45:32 by Megatron Reply

  • When the Kings qualify for the Currie Cup and then make the Semi’s of the CC can they start talking…until then they must sort their sh*t out and stop worrying about Super Rugby and start worrrying about Vodacom Cup rugby.

  • Comment 7, posted at 26.01.12 13:03:47 by SheldonK Reply

  • I agree, exposure is an absolute must.

  • Comment 8, posted at 26.01.12 13:04:51 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 2) : or they need to find a coach like heyneke meyer 😉

  • Comment 9, posted at 26.01.12 13:11:37 by bergshark Reply

  • The Kings should make the Currie Cup first before they can start making a claim to play super rugby, but agree they need exposure to succeed and the money and I agree with most of these ideas and it will take time not in the next 5 years will they be able to challenge a team like the Crusaders or Waratahs

  • Comment 10, posted at 26.01.12 13:12:19 by Mutley Reply
  • it is time that the eastern cape is given a super rugby side as over the last couple of years the other teams have been taking all the school boys from dale, selborne and queens etc.and have buildt them into good players who are now in the sharks,bulls teams etc.we need top rugby in this area to keep them here and build on a top team. the one big academy from natal has relocated to the bulldogs last year and the u21 team has since been promoted to the a division.

  • Comment 11, posted at 26.01.12 13:14:16 by pete69 Reply

  • Do you want the Kings to get bliksemed left right and centre untill there is nothing left of them? I hear what you are saying about them playing international fixtures. But playing them against Argentina or any of the six nation teams will see them get destroyed big time and nobody wants to see that and will probably do more harm than good. But playing some warm up games against the international super rugby squads can provide them with an opportunity to show whether or not they wll be good enough for super rugby. As long as it is televised.

  • Comment 12, posted at 26.01.12 13:16:29 by Viking Reply
  • @pete69 (Comment 11) :

    I am not sure ‘giving’ the Eastern Cape anything is such a good idea.. I think anything that goes to the Eastern Cape should be ‘earned’..

  • Comment 13, posted at 26.01.12 13:17:06 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @JarsonX (Comment 8) : As long as it is positive exosure. No one wants to see a 100 – 0 paksla

  • Comment 14, posted at 26.01.12 13:18:35 by Viking Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 7) : @Mutley (Comment 10) : @pete69 (Comment 11) : The promotion-relegation games will be critical. No team should get automatic entry. It will take time, but if the Kings can get good games, attract large crowds and interest, then they will keep their youngsters.

  • Comment 15, posted at 26.01.12 13:18:54 by StevieS Reply
  • Making the Currie Cup a 6 team competition has all but killed the chances of the Kings to make it into Premier Division rugby..

  • Comment 16, posted at 26.01.12 13:20:22 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Mutley (Comment 10) : @SheldonK (Comment 7) : how much time did the Force & Rebels need to play in Super Rugby?

  • Comment 17, posted at 26.01.12 13:20:30 by Megatron Reply

  • @Viking (Comment 12) : It’s just a concept. I reckon the Sharks, Bulls etc would do themselves proud against any of those teams. The idea would be for the Kings to get to that level. In the interim they could play against the likes of Japan, USA etc and then work their way up.

  • Comment 18, posted at 26.01.12 13:21:40 by StevieS Reply
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 16) : The Pumas were actually starting to look pretty good. I feel sorry for them as well. They lost the majority of their games by close margins.

  • Comment 19, posted at 26.01.12 13:23:45 by StevieS Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 18) : Now that woul be better. Give them the little oukies from Toyota and ease them into playing against the big boys 😉

  • Comment 20, posted at 26.01.12 13:24:38 by Viking Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 19) :


    I can see the Kings beating the Pumas or Leopards, but definitely not Griquas..

  • Comment 21, posted at 26.01.12 13:25:01 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @StevieS (Comment 19) : Those who has gets more and those who don’t … well … At the end of the day its about making money and not developing rugby.

  • Comment 22, posted at 26.01.12 13:27:15 by Viking Reply
  • @Megatron
    The Rebels and Force are Aussie teams not SA teams

  • Comment 23, posted at 26.01.12 13:33:21 by Mutley Reply
  • The way I see it there ARE only 5 teams and the wannabe 6th can make all the excuses they want, but the bottom line is THEY ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

  • Comment 24, posted at 26.01.12 13:57:36 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Stevie your article tells us about all the things the kings must get but it doesn’t tell us why the DESERVE a spot at all.

    Just because they WANT to play SR is not good enough. They can’t even win the 1st Division.

  • Comment 25, posted at 26.01.12 14:02:31 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Great article and you raise some very good points ..the issue here is with SARU and having made the promise to the EP Kings of super rugby has left them with a major dilemma.

    It just wasn’t thought thru.

  • Comment 26, posted at 26.01.12 14:04:13 by CoffeeshopBok ;-) Reply

  • Good article.

  • Comment 27, posted at 26.01.12 14:04:41 by King Shark Reply
    King Shark
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 24) :

    like 😀

  • Comment 28, posted at 26.01.12 14:05:15 by CoffeeshopBok ;-) Reply

  • @Zibbie (Comment 2) : Why?

  • Comment 29, posted at 26.01.12 14:06:42 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @StevieS (Comment 5) : 4 years down the line and they are still trying?

    get rid of the wanabees and put rugby people in who aren’t in it for their backpockets.

  • Comment 30, posted at 26.01.12 14:08:57 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Mutley (Comment 23) : what league did they have to play in to “prove” they are worth plauing Super Rugby? what is this mode of thinking based on?

    in the Aviva Premiership do the teams at the bottom play promotion/relegation games or do they move straight to the league below?

  • Comment 31, posted at 26.01.12 14:12:12 by Megatron Reply

  • @pete69 (Comment 11) :


    What happened to having to work for something and then achieving it because you are good enough?

  • Comment 32, posted at 26.01.12 14:13:06 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Viking (Comment 12) : And then like most of their previous BIG games, they’ll bring in a bunch of imports for the one game which will really benefit the actual players??

  • Comment 33, posted at 26.01.12 14:15:46 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @King Shark (Comment 27) : and @CoffeeshopBok 😉 (Comment 26) : Thanks guys. Glad you liked it.

    @KSA Shark © (Comment 24) : I don’t think they deserve a spot in Super Rugby at the moment, but this article is written on the premise that we will be stuck with SARU’s unwanted baby. We need to give it a proper rugby education and bring it up well to become a well rounded, contributing member of Bok society.

    The flip side of my argument is that if the Sharks should somehow end last, then I don’t want them discarded 😯 I would hope that there would still be quality games for my beloved Sharks.

  • Comment 34, posted at 26.01.12 14:16:04 by StevieS Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 15) : For the same reason Bloefontein can’t keep players (it’s a shithole to live in) PE will not be able to keep players, regardless of their SR status.

  • Comment 35, posted at 26.01.12 14:18:24 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 24) : one of the so-called “5 TEAMS” as recenlty as 2010 LOST all of their games in Super Rugby, their union is bankrupt and in the process of being SUED to pay up for other people’s money. yet for some reason they think they have a God-given right to play Super Rugby however putrid they are.

    some unions reckon they are more equal than others 🙄

    anyway we shall see what SARU says tomorrow, no point in this discussion. 😀

  • Comment 36, posted at 26.01.12 14:18:31 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 36) : like that bit of george orwell you sneaked in there 😉

  • Comment 37, posted at 26.01.12 14:20:37 by bergshark Reply

  • Given the size of the market in PE and the amount of help and attention they have been getting, The Kings should be the 6th best team in South Africa by a large margin.

    Get competent leadership and become the best of the rest. Only then can any talk of Super rugby be taken seriously. In the mean time all these schemes are just a waste of resources.

  • Comment 38, posted at 26.01.12 14:23:35 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @StevieS (Comment 34) : If the Sharks end last and lose any potential relegation match then they need to be booted. If there is a stronger team then they should play SR IMO.

  • Comment 39, posted at 26.01.12 14:23:40 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @bergshark (Comment 37) : Animal Farm 🙁 Thought I’d escaped that 😆

  • Comment 40, posted at 26.01.12 14:23:44 by StevieS Reply
  • Some would say not using such terms in whichever way (because one knows it could be offensive),is a sign of maturity..

  • Comment 41, posted at 26.01.12 14:24:15 by bergshark Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 36) : No let’s rather see how they perform against the Kings on the field.

    Oh and do you have any proof that they are bankrupt? Even Guma have stopped saying they are bankrupt.

  • Comment 42, posted at 26.01.12 14:26:35 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @bergshark (Comment 41) : And I just taught you how to reply and now you stop using it. 🙂

    Who was that addressed at? 😉

  • Comment 43, posted at 26.01.12 14:29:10 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 43) :

    Wrong thread.. 🙄

  • Comment 44, posted at 26.01.12 14:31:12 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 43) : sorry about that ..could you please delete that comment?

  • Comment 45, posted at 26.01.12 14:32:49 by bergshark Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 36) :

    Now now I doubt that the Lions reckon its their right to have a Superugby spot ..its just that we’ve always been in it ..and to date the only other SA team with the Bulls to have a Super Trophy.

    I get you from the region and would dearly want them in but no Union is gonna sit idly by and not put up a fight to hang on to their spot.

    One could argue that the whole Cats debacle set both the Cheetahs and Lions back a few years …

    And lets not forget your regions total mis management of funds a couple of years back ..

  • Comment 46, posted at 26.01.12 14:33:01 by CoffeeshopBok ;-) Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 45) : 😆

  • Comment 47, posted at 26.01.12 14:37:56 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @CoffeeshopBok 😉 (Comment 46) : the point is what were the repurcussions for the lions losing ALL their games? sweet nothing.

    SA (and i mean all the unions, not the so-called BIG BOYS) is crying for an administrator like john o’neill who fights for all the regions in Oz.

  • Comment 48, posted at 26.01.12 14:41:31 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 48) :

    None you correct but then there was nothing in place for repucussions ..The bulls also went an entire season winless and went on to win it.

    I actually would love the EP to get a franchise but not at the detrement of the other Unions ..its a tough one.

  • Comment 49, posted at 26.01.12 14:45:05 by CoffeeshopBok ;-) Reply

  • @CoffeeshopBok 😉 (Comment 49) : I was thinking the same thing. There were no repercussions then, other than the grief suffered by the Lions fans.

  • Comment 50, posted at 26.01.12 14:52:28 by StevieS Reply
  • @CoffeeshopBok 😉 (Comment 49) : @StevieS (Comment 50) : so where can i purchase the pedestal to stand on too and yell who “deserves” to be in Super Rugby and who doesn’t?

  • Comment 51, posted at 26.01.12 15:24:30 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 51) : No need to purchase it. You just send Richard your e-mail and he’ll post your article.

  • Comment 52, posted at 26.01.12 15:28:51 by StevieS Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 52) : 🙂

  • Comment 53, posted at 26.01.12 15:54:28 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • The Kings hopes actually rely on the success of the Argentinian Rugby Side or lack there of. if Argentina do well in the Rugby Championship there will be pressure to include some of their club sides in the Super Rugby competition. Let’s say 2 Argentinian sides are allowed, that will make 17 sides. 17 is a really ODD number, 18 is so much better, thus an opening for the Kings team. Furthermore South Africa produces more rugby players than Australia, Argentina and New Zealand combined ( ok this an estimated, I may be wrong but I can’t be too far of reality ). We need a 6th Super Rugby Side, just to accommodate the players.

    If Argentina don’t go as well in the RC, pressure could be still on SANZAR to include the Argentinians clubs . The Kings just have to wait their turn.

  • Comment 54, posted at 26.01.12 16:10:04 by Mocho Reply

  • @StevieS (Comment 50) :

    Yip long sufferring fans ..

    @Megatron (Comment 51) :

    Don’t know but Im sure you’ll find one soon enough …

  • Comment 55, posted at 26.01.12 16:15:58 by CoffeeshopBok ;-) Reply

  • @Mocho (Comment 54) : don’t they want to bring argentinian players into current sr teams from next year?now if that does happen,imagine aussie sr teams who can scrum the bajada ?!

  • Comment 56, posted at 26.01.12 16:22:21 by bergshark Reply


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