Southern Kings

Eastern Province press for Super 14 team

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Eastern Province president William Stuurman has told SA Rugby magazine that Port Elizabeth would be the ideal choice for the new South African Super 14 franchise.

Stuuman hopes that Eastern Province’s commitment to transformation will see them get the nod over Bloemfontein.

‘Eastern Province really is the rainbow province of South African rugby,’ says Stuurman. ‘Most South African provincial teams have at least five players who come from the Port Elizabeth area.

Springboks like Deon Kayser, Lawrence Sephaka, Ricardo Loubscher and Solly Tyibilika all learnt their trade with EP.

‘Fans would definitely get behind the team,’ insists Stuurman. ‘If we were awarded the franchise, we would be able to attract talented players, like Percy Montgomery, and an excellent coach, like Phil Pretorius. That would increase our support base.’

When awarding the new franchise, Sarfu must not only look at the field of play, but at the transformation of rugby in this country.’

Stuurman also believes that the Port Elizabeth area has the best infrastructure for the new side. ‘Look at schools like Grey PE and Selborne.

Those schoolboys move to other provinces after matriculating because they don’t have a reason to stay. If PE had a Super 14 team we could hold on to all that talent.’

While Bloem is expected to host the new team based on the recent success of the Free State Cheetahs, there are rumours that Sarfu will give the franchise to PE because of the region’s commitment to transformation.

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