Eastern Province president Cheeky Watson has denied that there is any truth in the rumour that his Union have agreed with the South African Rugby Union (SARU) that they will not play Super Rugby next year.
Die Burger newspaper reported on rumours that the Southern Kings may have agreed to take a back seat in Super Rugby for another year is SARU agrees to some of their conditions.
That scenario would mean that all five current Super Rugby franchises including the Lions have at least one more year left in Super Rugby.
Die Burger reported that some of the Kings requests were that they would “receive a huge sum of money from SARU” not to participate in the 2013 Super Rugby tournament.
Another demand was that the Eastern Province Kings would be given automatic qualification into next year’s Currie Cup Premier Division as well as a guaranteed Test match against either New Zealand or Australia for the next four years.
However, Watson strongly denied the rumours.
“The rumours are false,” Watson told Sport24.
“There is definitely no such agreement with SARU.”
“I think they are rumours that were started by people who want to sink the Kings.”
“We should have played Super Rugby in 2011 already, but stood back with the best interests of South African rugby in mind. “
“A decision has been made that we will play Super Rugby in 2013 and that is what we’re striving for,” said Watson.