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We've received a lot of questions about the inclusion of the Southern Kings in Vodacom Super Rugby from next year, covering a number of issues and possible scenarios. In an effort not to repeat the information, we've grouped them together and provided one answer on the Kings.
Jurie’s answer: There is a perception that the situation around the Kings is out of control and a mess, but that is simply not true. We've been transparent from the beginning and have issues numerous media statements on this process, that incorporates all stakeholders and we're working non-stop at finding the best solution.
This is a basic outline of how the process has been unfolding up to now:
January 27: A Special General Meeting was held to consider Vodacom Super Rugby participation (among other things).
• The SARU Executive Council (Exco) proposed that the top four teams in the South African conference at the end of the 2012 competition join the Southern Kings as the South African representatives in the 2013 competition.
• It was also proposed that the last-placed team in the South African Conference would play a promotion/relegation match against the non-Super Rugby franchise at the conclusion of the 2013 and 2014 competitions.
• The meeting reaffirmed the Kings’ participation in the 2013 tournament.
• The franchises requested that a decision on the mechanism of qualification was postponed to allow them time to make alternative proposals.
• The General Meeting accepted the request. Jurie Roux, SARU CEO, asked for it to be recorded that the delay in a decision was at the franchises’ request, therefore precluding them (unions) from criticism of delays in any decisions.
February 23: Franchise representatives and members of the Exco met for a second time to discuss the way forward.
• It was decided that franchises representatives would accompany SARU’s SANZAR delegates (Roux and deputy president Mark Alexander) to meet SANZAR partners with proposals to encompass the inclusion of a sixth South African franchise. The group was scheduled to depart on March 17.
March 14: A final preparation meeting was held between franchise representatives and SARU’s SANZAR delegates.
• The meeting requested SARU to write to Australia and New Zealand requesting a postponement in the visit in order to prepare additional expansion options.
• No date has been rescheduled.
May 17: Representatives of South Africa’s five existing Super Rugby franchises (Vodacom Bulls, Toyota Cheetahs, MTN Lions, The Sharks and DHL Stormers), the Southern Kings, the SARU presidency and management met in Johannesburg on Thursday in the latest in a series of meetings on the subject.
• It was decided that a further meeting of franchises of SARU to discuss participation in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition should take take place on Monday, 21 May.
• It was agreed that a solution has to be secured that does not damage any of the existing franchises.
May 21: A number of options for Vodacom Super Rugby participation in 2013 were discussed by a meeting of South Africa’s franchises and SARU leadership in Johannesburg.
• The meeting was positive and the delegates came up with a number of options for participation on which the franchises were agreed.
• Those options will go to the Exco for consideration and ultimately to the General Council for a decision.
The Ordinary SARU General Council meeting scheduled for 13 July was subsequently postponed on request from the majority of the SARU provincial unions.
Rugby has been consistently united in supporting the Kings’ place in Vodacom Super Rugby in 2013. Our focus has been on finding a rugby answer to the questions that flow from that decision that’s fair, transparent in its mechanism and will strengthen South African rugby in the long run. Those discussions continue.
Until a final decision is reached, the franchises and the SARU presidency are agreed that it would be unhelpful to the competing teams to publicly debate the pros and cons of different scenarios. When a decision is announced we will be able to report back to rugby supporters in full.
We certainly don't see the Kings' inclusion as something that will spark a mass exodus of players from South Africa. Playing overseas is something that has become part and parcel of the South African game (as well as in other countries) and it's something we are trying to address, but the inclusion of the Kings will not necessarily change this.
It's also a misconception that the Kings in their current form will be the team that will feature in Vodacom Super Rugby next year - they will be a new team (just like the Melbourne Rebels differed from the Aussie provincial side that played in their provincial competition a few years ago) and we have faith in what they aim to achieve.
Thank you to the following people who sent in questions on this topic: Clarence Miller, Xerxes, Naas Viljoen, Ian, Gareth Brown and Louis Meyer.
Your Question: Waar is die Vodacom Cheetah's op die log asb? - Jaco Oberholzer
Jurie answers: Interesting question Jack - check out the logs on our website (www.sarugby.co.za). They are currently fourth in the SA Conference and 10th overall.
Your Question: Jurie congrats on doing a superb job at the top ! Y is it that SA always get the short end re:fixture list re boks/refs desc/Suspensions/ it seems we r hated, y ? - Paul
Jurie answers: Thanks for the compliment Paul. I don't think we are hated and the perception that we are on the receiving end is one I can't really do anything about. Sure, sometimes it would seem like we're getting unnecessary stick, but if you look at the facts and numbers, it's simply not true.
Your Question: Why do you let AUS and NZ dictate the terms of Super Rugby? The conference system is bad for SA Rugby. Our players bash each other for no good reason twice a season while the Ausies have much easier Games playing each other!! Would we not be better off in the Heinekin Cup. - Mark Kruger
Jurie answers: Hi Mark. We certainly don't let Australia or New Zealand dictate terms to us, as we have all have equal representation on the SANZAR Exco. I also don’t think that the Conference System is bad for us – we're on the cusp of having three teams in the top six, which bodes very well for the rest of the season. And the problem with playing in the Northern Hemisphere is the fact that the seasons don't overlap.
Your Question: Can we not have "JIMILIOU" and then "JEE" as a war cry before Springbok matches?? Just as Paul Roos had many years ago! - Peter L'Estrange
Jurie answers: Nice one Peter, perhaps we should investigate this further.
Your Question: Good Day Mr Roux I am the President of Sunrise Rugby Club, I need to know what is the role of SA Rugby (as the custodian of rugby in SA) development programme and more specifically the provincial development officers for our Sub-Unions and club rugby. I will wait for your responce in anticipation. Regards Ndumiso Zazini
Jurie answers: Hi Mr Zazini - as you say, we're the custodians of the game and our Development Department works closely with the unions. We're very dependent on them as they are the ones with direct access to and contact with the clubs and schools, which is where the bulk of the development work needs to be done. Should you wish to get in touch, please don't hesitate to contact our offices - they will put you in touch with me.