Southern Kings edge nearer Super status?
July 22, 2010
The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth could host Super Rugby in the future © Getty Images
The Southern Kings are reportedly in line to join an expanded Super Rugby competition as early as 2013.
The Eastern Cape-based franchise have been fighting for Super Rugby status for several years and were recently edged out for a place in the competition by the Melbourne Rebels, who will make their debut in the first season of Super 15 rugby next year after securing their place via a prolonged bidding process.
However, Sport24 reports the Southern Kings are set to join the competition in three years' time after a proposal by the South Africa Rugby Union was accepted in principle by their SANZAR partners New Zealand and Australia.
The Kings would become the sixth South African franchise participating in the tournament alongside the Bulls, Stormers, Lions, Cheetahs and Sharks. However, further reports suggest no formal proposal has been put to SANZAR and therefore any process that would lead to their inclusion has not begun.
Any invite offered to the Kings would be a boost to SARU who have previously given the South African government an undertaking that the Eastern Cape would be incorporated in the mainstream of rugby.
The re-vamped Super 15 Rugby competition, that will be contested between February and August next year, will break new ground with the leading sides from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa competing in local derbies before undertaking away fixtures culminating in a final series featuring the best six teams.