Bay all set for feast of rugby
AFTER a staple diet of Currie Cup and Super Rugby in recent years, supporters can now look forward to something totally different when the Southern Kings make their European Pro14 debut next Saturday.
The 44 000 crowd who watched South Africa beat Argentina at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium proved once again that rugby enjoys widespread support in the region.
Officials will be hoping many of those loyal Bok supporters will now rally behind the Kings and turn out in big numbers to support their local franchise.
First up for the Kings is a game against reigning champions Scarlets in Wales, before they travel to Ireland to take on Connacht.
Their first home game is against Irish outfit Leinster at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on September 16 and a big crowd is expected to watch. With teams from Ire- land, Wales, France, Italy and Scotland set to visit the Bay in the coming months the scene is set for a mouth-watering rugby feast.
Rugby in the Bay has been through its hard times in recent years and the cash crisis brought the Eastern Province Rugby Union to its knees.
Throughout those dark days, however, support for the game has remained strong and the region continues to breed top-class players.
Ahead of the Argentine test, the Bay rolled out the red carpet for their heroes and Springboks thanked their fanatical supporters by beating the Pumas in emphatic fashion.
The venue has become a fortress for the Boks, who thrive on playing at the atmospheric stadium.
Now it is up to the Kings to maintain the vibe created by the Springboks and keep the region’s flag flying high on the Pro14 circuit.