Super 15 rugby: SA’S southern kings lose out to Melbourne for a shot at 2011 tournament

2009-11-12 00:00

MELBOURNE — and not the Eastern Cape franchise Southern Kings — will play in an expanded Super 15 in 2011, after the Austra­lian bid proved successful for financial reasons.

Sanzar (South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby) appointed two experts — former All Black captain David Kirk and retired New Zealand High Court Judge Barry Paterson — after initially being unable to make a unanimous decision, and the panel announced yesterday that Australia will provide the new team.

The panel said Melbourne provided greater commercial benefit to Sanzar than Port Elizabeth-based Southern Kings.

The Super 15 in 2011 will comprise five teams from each of the three countries (South Africa, Australia and New Zealand).

Regan Hoskins, president of the South African Rugby Union, said yesterday that the experts found the Southern Kings franchise superior in organisational and rugby terms, “… there was a potential loss to Sanzar of TV revenue, of the order of R137 million, over five years from Australian broadcasters.”

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