SARU takes control of Super Rugby franchise Southern Kings


The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has stepped in to take control of Super Rugby franchise Southern Kings in order to assist the cash-strapped Eastern Province Rugby Union (EP).

Kings are returning to Super Rugby for the 2016 season as part of a revamped format that will see the competition extend from 15 teams to 18.

However, concerns were raised following reports of delayed payments to Kings players in October.

SARU have now confirmed they are to take control of the Port Elizabeth-based franchise due to cash-flow problems in the EP.

A statement read: "The action followed through a decision taken by the Executive Council of SARU some weeks ago to step into the Kings' affairs if certain expectations were not realised.

"The decision was actioned as a result of the on-going cash flow problems at the Union after the president of EP, Mr Cheeky Watson, contacted Mr Oregan Hoskins, the president of SARU, to ask him to assist."

SARU president Oregan Hoskins added: "We gave the Kings as long as possible to resolve their issues through their own efforts but the point had been reached where they could wait no longer.

"It is a decision we have had to take reluctantly but it is now 102 days until Vodacom Super Rugby moves into a new era with new teams and new nations taking part and we collectively agreed we could not allow South Africa's new entrant to be under-prepared."

Kings start their Super Rugby campaign at home to Sharks on February 27.