Southern Kings

SARugby boss suggests joint Super15 team




South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins has come up with a radical solution for the 15th Super Rugby franchise when Super Rugby expands to a Super 15 in 2011.

Hoskins has suggested in his personal capacity that the two franchises/cities who are left in the race for the final Super 15 team join forces and base themselves in Port Elizabeth for half of the series and Melbourne for the rest.

The new solution would solve the immediate problem of player depth as each franchise would only need to produce half the players they would if they had to form a completely new franchise.

Hoskins’ suggestion, which according to Business Day he mentioned during a Sanzar conference call, was followed the decision by the New Zealand Rugby Union to withdraw it’s backing for the proposed Taranaki franchise.

Sanzar funds teams’ accommodation and transport throughout the Super Rugby tournament which is a major reason why SANZAR want more local derbies in the Super 15 as local derbies drastically reduce the cost of travel.

“I think we should revisit the idea of merging the Kings and Melbourne franchise because it could work well,” SANZAR chairman Hoskins told Business Day.

“This way the team could play games in Port Elizabeth and Melbourne and it could be a win- win situation for both unions.

“It doesn’t have to be an Australian or South African franchise.”

“It is important to think outside the box sometimes and be innovative.”

Hoskins said this suggestion could have other benefits for the member unions.

“This could also strengthen Sanzar’s hand to keep players in their respective countries rather than having them take up offers in Europe.

“It is important to look sensibly at ways to counteract the forces pulling away our players.”

Hoskins said neither the Australian Rugby Union nor the Kings bosses shot down the suggestion when he made it.

However, he was confident that even if the Kings were to go solo, they would be able to sustain the franchise.

“The Kings franchise would certainly fly in terms of financial viability,” Hoskins said.

“I was approached recently by a massive sponsor who expressed interest in coming on board. But I haven’t yet reported to the franchise because I haven’t had time.

“There is also such a hype around the franchise in the southern and eastern Cape region, I am sure other sponsors would be interested.”

“I have also heard strong rumours that the government could make a grant to assist the team as an investment in transformation for the future. So I have no doubt the franchise would be able to raise sufficient funds.”

Melbourne are the overwhelming favourites to be awarded the Super 15 franchise so it’s seems unlikely that ARU Boss John O’Neill would go along with Hoskins proposal of a joint Super Rugby team.


O’Neill has a knack of getting what he wants and he wants an all Australian Super 15 franchise.

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