Well, well, well. The date for the biggest showdown since Lennox Lewis vs Rachman, in South Africa has been set for 16 August 2012. Unilke Lewis and Rachman this bought will not be fought at Carnavil City’s Big Top Arena or Emperor’s Palace. It will be a boardroom brawl at SARU’s head office. In the one corner we will have the Southern Kings backed by it seems SARU and government. In the Other corner we have the Lions backed most likely by the 4 other big rugby unions in South Africa. The referees will be the remaining 6 unions (thankfully not SANZAR or the IRB) and the winner gets a place in next year’s SupeRugby competition.
This fight has been a long time coming with the due date being postponed several times over the last couple of months and not leaving much time for a rematch should one be required. The rematch will probably in a court of some sort with urgent interdicts and the like being filed. Ultimately the loser will be South African rugby and the supporters of the game. The choices are simple it seems and there are only 4:
- The Kings gain Super Rugby promotion at the expense of the Lions;
- The Kings gain promotion, work together with the Lions, with the Lions’ top players then playing their Super Rugby in Port Elizabeth in 2013;
- The Lions and Cheetahs merge to again become a franchise (they played together as the Cats from 1998-2005);
- Rugby bosses decide they’ve made a mistake and the Kings won’t be allowed to play Super Rugby next year.
We know the Kings’ corner will go for the last option and maybe settle for the second. The Lions will go for option 1 and maybe option 3. The question now remains who can get the most support from the remaining 9 unions and how the smaller unions will vote.
I just wonder what SARU will do if the vote goes in favour of option 4. It is clear that they want the Kings as part of SupeRugby and this will not be an option they like. The Kings will not take this lying down and neither will the Lions if option 1 wins the vote. I hope SARU has a plan “B” if this happens, because they sure as hell will need one.
Now all we as supporters can do is wait and pray that rugby doesn’t suffer the most. In the end I still believe we will be the biggest loser in all of this.
Follow me on twitter @djvanman
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