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Watson prepared to negotiate Kings entry

Eastern Province president Cheeky Watson

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Article Published: Monday 16 July 2012|

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Eastern Province president Cheeky Watson has denied reports that the Southern Kings have accepted a R40 million offer from the SA Rugby Union (Saru) to delay the side's Super Rugby participation until 2016.

"The report that we have agreed to accept R40 million and will forgo our right to inclusion in the Super 15 rugby competition until 2016 is news to me," Watson said in a press statement.

"We have said that we are prepared to negotiate the best way for the Southern Kings to enter the Super 15 competition, but these details have never been on the table."

After a unanimous decision by the all 14 provinces at a Saru general meeting in January the Kings were awarded one of five available places in next season's South African conference.

It was proposed at the same meeting that the top four teams in the South African conference in this year's Super Rugby competition would join the Kings in next year's competition.

Another proposal was that the last-placed team in the SA conference would play a promotion/relegation match against the non-Super Rugby franchise after the 2013 and 2014 season.

The ordinary general meeting scheduled for July 13 where a final decision on South African teams' participation in Super Rugby was supposed to have been taken was postponed indefinitely a week ago.

The Sunday Independent reported on Sunday that a Saru brokered deal with the Kings would give the Lions, who was set for relegation a lifeline.

"We have said that we are prepared to negotiate the best way for the Southern Kings to enter the Super 15 competition, but these details have never been on the table," Watson said.

"What we are doing is finding a formula that is acceptable to all parties.

"There are various permutations that we are discussing and I cannot comment any further until we have agreed on a structure to bring Super 15 rugby to the Eastern Cape.

"Any further comment must come from Saru," Watson said.

 
 
 
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