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Cheeky's Kings want more

Thu, 16 Aug 2012 13:59
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It doesn't make sense in rugby, not in business, not in the church
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Southern Kings President Cheeky Watson has hit out at the South African Rugby Union for a belated decision to give the Eastern Cape franchise only one guaranteed season of Super Rugby participation.

SARU announced on Thursday that the Kings would play in the 2013 Super Rugby competition, with the Lions dropping out for at least one year.

"I think it is a ludicrous decision," Watson said after the decision was made at a SARU general council meeting in Cape Town.

"It doesn't make sense in rugby, not in business, not in the church.

"It doesn't make sense in any sector of society that you are sitting with a scenario that you are in Super Rugby for one year and expected to achieve," he said.

Watson later told Ballz Radio that they will appeal the one-year deal and will insist on a three-year guarantee.

"It's been a long dog fight," Watson told Algoa FM.

"As Eastern Province Kings we thank the people of the Eastern Cape, we thank the Metro [Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality], we thank the regional government for their support," Watson said.

He said the Kings won the vote by 23 to six.

"I think the work is just starting now. It's exciting but there "is a big job ahead," Watson said.

He also appealed to the residents of Nelson Mandela Bay to come and celebrate the Kings inclusion in the competition on Friday when EP play Boland.

Former Springbok Robbie Kempson says the inclusion of the Southern Kings is brilliant for the region and rugby fans who have been dying to have competitive rugby in the province for some time.

"It's taken a bit long for SA Rugby to get to this decision and it kind of puts the Southern Kings on the back foot as far as recruitment is concerned. But, I think for the local region and the supporters I think it's unbelievable that it's finally come to fruition," he told Algoa FM.

The Lions, who fall out next year, will have a chance to return the following year in a promotion/relegation play-off with the lowest ranked team.

Kempson said the Lions had been the "worst performing side over the last decade so it won't be a problem for anyone out there".

"Will the Southern Kings do any better than the Lions we won't know that until 2013 but they certainly can't do much worse," he said.

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