Kings saga: The latest...

Luke Watson (Gallo Images)
Luke Watson (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The end of another week, and the end of another chapter in the ongoing drama that is the Southern Kings.

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has taken ownership of the Southern Kings in an attempt to ready the franchise for Super Rugby in 2016 amidst the financial troubles that have left the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) cash-strapped. 

Part of SARU's intervention was to offer a group of what is reportedly 20-odd players Super Rugby contracts for next season as they look to build a squad. 

Those contracts were distributed this week, and Rugby365 reported on Friday that Luke Watson, who had been tipped to captain the Kings in Super Rugby, was not one of the players offered a SARU contract. 

A Kings spokesperson told Sport24 said she was not aware of which players had or had not been offered SARU contracts, but that president Cheeky Watson and CEO Charl Crous were in Cape Town discussing matters with SARU. 

SARU is scheduled to hold its general council meeting in Cape Town on Friday.

A group of disgruntled Kings players, headed up by scrumhalf Kevin Luiters and centre Ronnie Cooke, had earlier handed over a petition to Watson requesting a change of leadership as well as for their outstanding salaries to be paid. 

That, it appears, has not happened yet... although Rugby365 did claim that those players who have been offered SARU contracts have had their outstanding Kings salaries paid. 

Luiters, to his own surprise, was offered a SARU contract.

Cheeky Watson had said earlier in the week that he would look at meeting with Luiters and the group of disgruntled players on Wednesday, but that meeting did not happen. 

The reasons given were that, at that time, the Kings had not received feedback from SARU over which players would be offered contracts. 

Now that those contracts have been handed out, that meeting between Watson and those players who have been left in the dark over their futures is expected to take place next week. 

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