Southern Kings will struggle to win a game
Greg Growden and ESPN Staff
February 14, 2013
Luke Watson returns to Super Rugby to captain the Kings. © Getty Images
Enjoy them while you can: Greg Growden believes the Southern Kings will grace the Super Rugby stage for a limited time only.
Last season: Debut season in 2013, replacing the Lions.
Key man: Luke Watson returns to Super Rugby after a three-year absence, but his form in the interim for Bath in England and Eastern Province suggests the Kings captain remains a fine backrower with the ability to put behind him for good his controversial off-field past.
Rising star: Demetri Catrakilis quit the Stormers to prove himself a playmaker at the Kings, and good judges in South Africa say he has the skills and the kicking boots to become a star fly-half. He was a key player for Western Province as they won both the Vodacom Cup and the Currie Cup in 2012, and this season offers him the next step in his career.
Season preview: The Lions were perennial whipping boys, failing to top 11th on the ladder after making the 2003 Super 12 semi-finals, but their 2012 roster was that of a finals contender compared with the Southern Kings' initial squad. They seem set fair for a long season of struggle.
Greg Growden's verdict: Will they win a game in their first year? Probably not. Will there be endless complaints about their inclusion at the expense of a team from Johannesburg? Undoubtedly. The politically motivated inclusion of this team is bound to see them generate headlines through the season, most probably for all the wrong reasons, because they simply do not have the players to make any form of threat. Enjoy them while you can, because they'll probably be gone this time next year. Their jersey is bound to become a collector's item.
Tip: Fifth in South African conference. Finish: Last overall.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham