SARU, Unions set for Aussie jaunt

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 24 Feb 2012 at 07:15
Tagged with : , , , , ,

The five existing South African Super Rugby franchises met with SARU yesterday in a bid to make some progress related to the Kings situation; seemingly, then failed to come up with any sensible ideas, so rather opted to arrange a joint holiday to Australia, aptly kicking off on St Patrick’s Day.

I say apt, because the ill-fated trip on which these fine gentlemen (that is to say, SARU’s honcho trio of Jurie Roux, Mark Alexander and Regan Hoskins, along with representatives from several of the franchises) will embark can surely serve no other purpose than affording the participants the opportunity to go on a jolly overseas trip. The purported purpose of the exercise, namely to “put the case for Super Rugby expansion to their SANZAR partners” has surely got to be a joke. After all, how many more times can SANZAR’s Greg Peters explain that, even if there were an appetite in either Australia or New Zealand to accommodate a sixth South African team (there isn’t) it would be commercially and legally impossible to renege on broadcasting agreement that all three unions, including SARU, signed just 18 months ago.

Super Rugby will stay as a 15-team tournament until 2016 and SARU will need to find a way to accommodate the Kings without relying on expansion to save their bacon. This much is clear; rather, this much is clear to everyone apart from SARU, who seem incapable of either understanding or admitting this very clear point of fact.

It’s time for someone within the ruling body to stand up and show some balls here. We’re all expecting a firm announcement on the future structure of the South African conference to be made on 31 March, by which stage the fate of one of the existing teams may well already be sealed should they start poorly in the competition which will by that stage be into its fifth round. Is it really too much to ask for all parties to work harder to come to an arrangement that doesn’t involve wasting time flying halfway around the world for no sensible reason? Or perhaps more pertinently, since none of the existing franchises would ever back their own demotion, is it too much to ask for SARU to simply make a decision, announce it, enforce it and bear whatever consequences result?

Thought it might be… make mine a Guinness lads! Whaahey!


  • “(I)s it too much to ask for SARU to simply make a decision, announce it, enforce it and bear whatever consequences result?”

    That’s what should happen. Tough decisions sometimes must be made, knowing that some will be unhappy.

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.02.12 07:34:13 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • This looks like its gonna get very nasty and further embarrass the hell outta SARU

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.02.12 07:34:59 by RuckingFun Reply

  • and legally impossible to renege on broadcasting agreement that all three unions, including SARU

    But this is SARU they are not scared to try anything. πŸ˜›

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.02.12 07:41:29 by KSA Shark Β© Reply

    KSA Shark Β©
  • 😈 Is this not the most absurd SA Rugby issue ever? So Cheeky & Co got SARU to: Endorse a sub performing union that can not win the CC bottom league, qualify for the CC league, can not beat a team (but are disgraced) from the CC in warm-up games. They do not have depth, a big support base (although they might to push to say it is historically a Xhosa ruby province and the supporters will follow) or majour sponsors to contract top players. They reason to eliminate a CC team on a bad season in SR who has supporters, depth and sponsors? Well, I is no brain, but this is close to…not gifted?? Who will watch their games?? The only entertainment will be to see them get trashed! But as an SA supporter that will not be (too much) fun.
    But what I really want to know is how Jurie & Co though about this and replied β€œOMG Cheeky, what a brilliant idea!!!” 😈

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.02.12 08:31:20 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • wow this is embarrassing. Are we seriously gonna wash our laundry in the sanzar public like this? 😳

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.02.12 08:59:19 by jako Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    West Indies Cricket Board
  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 4) : they are def scared of cheeky. Why though? Is it the political connections?

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.02.12 09:01:07 by jako Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    West Indies Cricket Board
  • @jako (Comment 6) : Just a word of warning – careful where you go with that line of reasoning. We like to keep this site politic-free! πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.02.12 09:37:32 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 4) : calm down buddy. this is not a “cheeky” brainwave. in 2005 when SARU got the 5th franchise from SANZAR, the Lions, Cheetahs and Spears bid for the franchise, PriceWaterHouse did the bid assessments and the Lions and Cheetahs got the franchises for that year!

    SARU then said, the only reason the Spears lost their bid was because their finances where not proper so SARU will give them 2 years to sort it out and SARU will help them with additional funding so that in 2007 whichever team finishes last will be RELEGATED and the Spears will join Super Rugby.

    now in April 2006, Oregan Hoskins in cahoots with the Lions verkrampte cooked up a nefarious plan to dismantle the Spears instead of going ahead and relegating the team that would finish last! the Spears went to the High Court to force SARU to honour the contract they signed with the Spears franchise, the Spears won the case!

    SARU led by Hoskins succeeded in buying out Border, SWD’s shares in the Spears and forced CEO Tony Mckeever to withdraw all legal action the Spears had instituted to force SARU to stick to their signed resolutions!

    in essence, the Lions should’ve been relegated in 2006, FAIRLY! but no, they used the backing of Hoskins against Brian van Rooyen as a trump card to avoid relegation.

    ps: in 2005 Cheeky Watson was nowhere near the administration of either EP, SWD or Border Rugby. to say the existence of a franchise in the South Eastern Cape is Cheeky’s idea is inane!

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.02.12 09:42:25 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 8) : Wish they’d kept the ‘Spears’ name – it sounds much better than the ‘Kings’.

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.02.12 09:46:54 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Megatron (Comment 8) : the Spears went to the High Court to force SARU to honour the contract they had signed with the Spears franchise and they WON the case.

    there was no “prove yourself” or “make the currie cup premier division” provisos when those contracts for 2006 were signed, the Central Cheetahs and the Cats were HANDED franchises on a PLATTER!!! the same with the Force and Rebels!

    now why must the South Eastern Cape jump through flaming hoops to get an opportunity others were readily gifted?

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.02.12 09:53:36 by Megatron Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : look @ my avatar, you can still see the “spears” πŸ˜€

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.02.12 09:58:28 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 10) : I need to heed my own advice from earlier in this thread so I’ll try and state this as tactfully as possible.

    I think much of the negative sentiment towards the Kings originates from the fact that certain powers that be use the team as a marketing tool for transformation in rugby. This sends out a very mixed message. We shouldn’t kid ourselves. Should the Kings be awarded a SR franchise they’ll recruit from anywhere they can using their new financial resources (as would any other union in their position) and only thereafter fill the gaps with local talent.

    Point being, this influx of players would automatically make them more competitive at CC level as is currently the case at the other 5 SR franchises.

    Edit: CC history tell us that money/resources buys you a certain amount of success in this competition.

    (SW admins – I hope I didn’t cross any lines in that post!)
    @Megatron (Comment 11) : Out of curiosity, which of the two names would you have preferred?

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.02.12 10:42:32 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 12) : “Edit: CC history tell us that money/resources buys you a certain amount of success in this competition.” – the Cheetahs won the Currie Cup in previous years and subsequently finished BOTTOM of the super rugby log, so i see no co-relation between Currie Cup rugby and Super Rugby success. Aussie teams have no “domestic” comp to prove how good they are but they on average have enjoyed far much more success than South African teams since Super rugby started, how do u explain that?

    tbh: i have no preference about what the team is called, i just want them to play rugby.

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.02.12 11:01:52 by Megatron Reply

  • My guess is that SARU is going to walk away from this with egg on their face and a moerse debt to pay to some union.

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.02.12 11:08:09 by Viking Reply
  • @Megatron (Comment 10) :

    Hold on you guys were also given a spot in SR on a ‘platter’and proceeded to sell it off to the Sharks and then go on to bankrupt yourselfs ..much like the Lions …whose fault is that.

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.02.12 11:08:47 by csb Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 13) :

    Its not an attack ..I admire your crusade to get SR back to the EC but there is also fault to be found within you guys union.

    Lions dodged a bullet in 05 thats for sure.

  • Comment 16, posted at 24.02.12 11:11:05 by csb Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 12) : there are no “mixed messages” as you put it. the Eastern Cape has a long history of black rugby notwithstanding the general known history of EP rugby. it’s like someone saying the Free State has a stellar history of churning out boys from Grey etc. everyone jumps to the issue of race when transformation is mentioned when even jurie roux has said before that transformation encompasses the very environment where players are supposedly developed, that also has to change.

    nowhere has the Spears/Kings organisation said they will be a franchise that caters for some and not all. a look at the Kings Academy would tell you that, but i know it is easy to hate or develop a “negative sentiment” than to delve deeper into what the organisation actually means…

    let’s not kid ourselves here, certain people in our country see the name cheeky watson and they automatically hate…if you deny that then you’re not truthful.

  • Comment 17, posted at 24.02.12 11:15:34 by Megatron Reply

  • Looking at the current brumbies vs force game which si soooo boring, I say we shaft the Ausies completely fom the competition and only play NZ teams 😈

  • Comment 18, posted at 24.02.12 11:26:59 by Viking Reply
  • The Spears worthy? That is a joke…

    I really thought they were serious a number of years back and thought they will be competitive in the CC premier league in a few…but seems they are not and are unable to produce anything after several years…

    Not only that, their team is as white as any of the other teams…so what exactly is the transformation whistle about….

    Spears failed in every way…and not deserving in any way…

    However, the back door should they miraculously rectify their shortcomings should be similar to that of the CC promotion relegation…you win – you play!!

  • Comment 19, posted at 24.02.12 11:31:41 by Hmmm Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 17) :

    “the Eastern Cape has a long history of black rugby”

    Not seen that in the Spears set up though…which makes it seem more of a fairy tale than history…

  • Comment 20, posted at 24.02.12 11:34:36 by Hmmm Reply

  • @csb (Comment 15) : when the 5th franchise was up for grabs, Border & EP along with SWD who were also tired of being treated like 2nd cousins by WP decide to bid for the franchise. nothing wrong with wanting to be autonomous surely?

    they lost the bidding process, fair enough and SARU resolved that they will re-enter Super rugby in 2007, the Spears agreed and waited for their time to come but it never came, how is that fair? where is the merit in that?

    surely you don’t want us to go through the path of talking about FINANCES!!! πŸ˜†

  • Comment 21, posted at 24.02.12 11:35:18 by Megatron Reply

  • @Hmmm (Comment 19) : “Spears failed in every way…and not deserving in any way…” please elaborate. i know why SARU wanted out of the deal to allow the Spears into Super rugby but i am interested in your take.

    i’m all ears.

  • Comment 22, posted at 24.02.12 11:40:05 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 13) : That point was made in response to people who keep claiming the Kings have enjoyed no success in the Currie Cup.

    @Megatron (Comment 17) : You really need to stop going on the defensive everytime mention is made of the Kings. Post number 12 was in support of the Kings – a lot of people won’t agree with me but I think there’s a place for a sixth SR franchise. Yet, you take the time to try and discredit that post twice. Lighten up! πŸ™„

    There are most certainly mixed messages (not originating from the Kings themselves but from those seeking to use them for their own means). And for the record Cheeky didn’t even cross my mind when I made that post. I have absolutely nothing against him or Luke.

    The Kings would most certainly not field a purely EP based squad in SR but some people in high up places would like to have us believe that. That’s a mixed message.

  • Comment 23, posted at 24.02.12 11:41:06 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Hmmm (Comment 20) : chap, go look at the high school teams of Grey high, Dale College, Queens College, Selbourne, Graeme College, Hudson Park etc and see what i am talking about. go look where current & former Sharks players Ndungane, Mvovo, Sithole, Vulindlu, Mthembu ALL went to school. πŸ˜€

  • Comment 24, posted at 24.02.12 11:46:09 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 24) :
    Choose the debates you wanna engage in. You mentioned facts, but not everyone wants to talk facts.

    Personally, I think any debate on this issue is doomed because of the emotions involved. SARU needs to show some balls and decide NOW, before the last-placed team is clear, that they will promote the Kings.

    Regarding the CC success etc, I’m becoming so tired of people pointing to the Kings lack of success here as a reason not to include them.

    Let’s promote them and drop a current SR team and see how long until the roles switch.

    SR revenue and exposure for players will ensure that the Kings player roster improves. Are people seriously too simple-minded to get that fundamental FACT? πŸ™„

    @csb (Comment 15) : What’s the point then?

    Let’s assume both screwed up, why should the Kings still be excluded? If the Lions can’t ensure that they don’t finish last season, then they are fair game. Same for the Sharks or anybody else.

  • Comment 25, posted at 24.02.12 11:59:45 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @vanmartin (Comment 23) : not defensive at all, just addressing the concept of (mixed messages) from wherever it may come from… πŸ˜€

  • Comment 26, posted at 24.02.12 12:05:17 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 26) : Uh huh πŸ™„

  • Comment 27, posted at 24.02.12 12:09:53 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Megatron (Comment 17) : 😈 Thnx for the background. It helps me understand better. You are right, I get irritated with the Watson connection, but it started with Luke’s comments and continues with the dad. I always liked EP when Garth Wright was still playing so I have a soft spot for them. As long as no SR team is relegated on political issues then I feel good about SA Rugby. Good luck. 😈

  • Comment 28, posted at 24.02.12 12:10:57 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • @Big Fish (Comment 25) : excuse me, sometimes i don’t want to leave people to drown in a sea of ignorance, so i throw a life jacket for them to save themselves.

    it is a character flaw, i’m always trying to help. πŸ˜₯

  • Comment 29, posted at 24.02.12 12:13:59 by Megatron Reply

  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 28) : i’m glad to have been of assistance. you see what people usually don’t get about cheeky and what he has done in the EC is that, the people who ran the union to the ground and took money for themselves (i’m trying to find a way to say this that won’t annoy robdylan) were supposedly the “good guys”, as in THEY would be impartial and treat everyone/clubs equitably with no preference related to race.

    but lo & behold, they messed up royally, cheeky & anele pamba (an absa executive who grew up in PE from a well-off rugby mad family)lobbied business to back them in turning the union around, they got garth wright and his business mates to spread the message to the clubs..

    to cut a long story short, in the 1st year of cheeky & anele’s tenure EP Rugby got their first unqualified audit in close to a decade! they installed tracking devices on all the union cars used for development, Allan Miles the DoR at Grey high school said it was the first time in 4 years that anyone from EP had inquired about some of the boys under his tutelage.

    they’re not perfect but i’d say they’re 100% better than the race-suitable administrators who made a royal shambles of our union!

  • Comment 30, posted at 24.02.12 12:27:51 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 24) :

    Ndugane’s, Sithole and Mvovo (who are the rest?)

    I can come up with A LOT more names for each of the other unions…exactly to my point…the Spears are producing no more players of colour than the other regions…in actual fact seems they are producing less than most…

    I cannot recall any other reason of importance other than that why they should have been included…so raises the argument…why is this still an issue or discussion…why are the Spears given more attention than the likes of a Northern Cape / North West / Ect…
    Hmmm….who’s benefiting behind the scenes?

  • Comment 31, posted at 24.02.12 13:39:12 by Hmmm Reply

  • @Hmmm (Comment 31) : you are tiring chap… πŸ˜₯

  • Comment 32, posted at 24.02.12 14:36:41 by Megatron Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 25) :

    Point I guess I was making is that they EP had a piece of the SR pie and got rid of it.

    Does it mean they must be discounted after that decision was made ..absolutly not ..but its important to know that …cause imo had they not they would surly have been playing SR now as the Kings.

    There is alot of fingers pointed at the Lions Union and their mismanagement and the major finincial poo they find themselves in now. Truth is we are not the only one struggling with cash, many have no idea how each union is battling to balance the books.

    @Megatron (Comment 21) :

    You wanna bet we squandered more than you guys πŸ˜‰

    I’m all for the Kings to join and it should be a promotion relegation to determine which team falls away.

  • Comment 33, posted at 24.02.12 14:41:44 by csb Reply

  • @csb (Comment 33) : no! no promotion-relegation games, you finish last, you are out. no second bite at the cherry!

  • Comment 34, posted at 24.02.12 14:50:45 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 34) :

    Sorry thats what I actually meant that finishes last makes way ..

  • Comment 35, posted at 24.02.12 14:53:26 by csb Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 32) :

    You might think so…but my question is valid to everyone outside EC…why is the Spears getting more attention than other small unions when they doing nothing more…

  • Comment 36, posted at 24.02.12 14:55:16 by Hmmm Reply

  • BigFish I totally agree with you its time SARU grows some balls and makes a decision and tough titties to which ever union losses out.

  • Comment 37, posted at 24.02.12 14:56:25 by csb Reply

  • @csb (Comment 33) : no bets mate, you guys win!! πŸ˜† :mrgreen:

  • Comment 38, posted at 24.02.12 15:05:16 by Megatron Reply

  • @Hmmm (Comment 36) : easy answer, listen carefully now:

    because the threee unions that make up the Spears/Kings are currenlty the ONLY ones affiliated with SARU who do not participate or benefit from the Super rugby money that SARU gets from Newscorp. it has NOTHING to do with politics just implementing the plan SARU had in 2005.

  • Comment 39, posted at 24.02.12 15:15:08 by Megatron Reply

  • @Hmmm (Comment 36) : if the Griquas formed a franchise, who would they likely partner with Leopards, Pumas, Valke? and where would the team be based, Kimberley?
    How commercially viable would that endeavour be?
    would they have the population to market to in Kimberley to build a fan base or would that team play to an empty stadium?

    which stadium in Kimberley would they use?

  • Comment 40, posted at 24.02.12 15:27:43 by Megatron Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 23) :

    I agree with you . We can have a 6th franchises . I think we have enough players to do so .

    but not at the expense of another franchises cause this is kinda pointless ..

    guess where all the Lions players will be playing in 2013 .. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 41, posted at 24.02.12 15:31:13 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @Zibbie (Comment 41) :

    They’ll be playing at Ellis Park dude …no way we ending last this year …

  • Comment 42, posted at 24.02.12 15:34:20 by csb Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 39) :

    Because they cashed in when they sold the rights to the Sharks and spent the money on everything but promoting the game in their region….

    So if I sell my car…spend the money (on something other than a replacement car)…then I cannot be expecting to be receiving a car for free from someone just because I am not benefiting from the ease of motorized travel!??!

    I’ll have to work my ass off to get the money to buy and deserve a car again…no favours….cannot go to a motor dealer and say he should rather sell to me than another guy cause I currently don’t have a car….

    Sure that was put simple enough that they are STILL not deserving!!!

  • Comment 43, posted at 24.02.12 15:35:49 by Hmmm Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 40) :

    They can play in Randburg who has had more attendance at rugby games of late that PE….
    And both those local teams are doing much more with and better in rugby…even at varsity and junior levels…and are actually a respectable…

  • Comment 44, posted at 24.02.12 15:38:33 by Hmmm Reply

  • @Hmmm (Comment 43) : you’re talking other issue here…the free state and the lions were one franchise called the Cats, when the 5th franchise opportunity came about, they separated to get autonomy, how is that different from what Border, EP & SWD did?

    they all went through the same bidding process, you think if hypothetically the Lions and Spears had won the franchises in 2005 and the Cheetahs had to wait until 2007 so that the team that finishes last will be relegated and THEN SARU decided otherwise it would’ve been the Cheetahs fault because they were participating in Super rugby as the Cats but they wanted AUTONOMY and now tough shit, they must live in the wilderness because that is the consequence?

    would you have advocated for the Spears to keep their franchise if they RUGBY results mirrored that of the Cheetahs NOW?

  • Comment 45, posted at 24.02.12 16:36:25 by Megatron Reply

  • @Hmmm (Comment 44) : randburg? a Griquas/Leopards/Pumas franchise based in randburg? πŸ˜†

  • Comment 46, posted at 24.02.12 16:38:02 by Megatron Reply

  • @Hmmm (Comment 44) : if i recall i asked you FIVE questions, can i have an answer for each please.

  • Comment 47, posted at 24.02.12 16:40:14 by Megatron Reply


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