Southern Kings to join Super Rugby in 2013
January 27, 2012
The Southern Kings took the 2011 Nations Cup © IRB
The Southern Kings will take part in the 2013 Super Rugby tournament though it is unclear which of the five South African franchises they will replace.
The Port Elizabeth-based franchise have been trying to force their way into the Super Rugby reckoning since their inauguration in 2009 but the Melbourne Rebels were given the nod by SANZAR that year. The side draws players from the Eastern Province Kings, based in Port Elizabeth, the Border Bulldogs, from East London, and George's SWD Eagles. But their Super Rugby dreams appear to be a reality now after the South African Rugby Union's Jurie Roux confirmed they will be entered for the 2013 tournament.
"The decision to include the Southern Kings in the 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby tournament was unanimously confirmed by the members," Roux said. "We will now look at the options to identify the other entrants to the competition, which will include further discussions with our SANZAR partners on the possibility of including a sixth South African team in the competition.
"The Unions will also be making their own recommendations and the outcome of those discussions and other proposals will be tabled for the Executive Council and ultimately a General Meeting to consider."
SARU will hold a special general meeting on March 30 to determine whether they will omit one of the five current franchises - Bulls, Lions, Sharks, Stormers and the Cheetahs - or attempt to change the current 15 team format of the competition to potentially incorporate 16. The Lions have recently rubbished suggestions they are struggling financially and after their recent Currie Cup success, the region will hope to keep their Super Rugby franchise.
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