New era looms for EP rugby
IT looks like being a case of out with old and in with the new for the beleaguered Southern Kings over the next couple of months.
The battling franchise is set for a name change and a raft of new players are expected to be signed before the new PRO14 season kicks off in September.
They say there is no use crying over spilt milk, and that is the attitude the Kings will be forced to adopt after a calamitous PRO14 debut season.
Just one win from 21 outings underlined just how out of their depth the Kings were in the expanded European league.
There are, of course, mitigating factors for those defeats. Their late entry and hastily-assembled squad were reasons cited for a totally forgettable season.
But even the patience of die-hard Kings fans will wane if the team do not turn things around during the off-season. Head coach Deon Davids has drawn up a wish list of quality players he wants to sign to transform the team.
Davids is correct when he says the Kings must start building from the base up to ensure progression and continuity. Whether the Kings have the funds necessary to attract the kind of players to revitalise the team is unclear.
So far, the Kings have been unable to obtain a major sponsor who could provide the cash needed to assemble a match-winning squad.
A poll is under way on whether the Kings should change their name ahead of the new season. Since the appointment of a new EP Rugby executive under president Andre Rademan, there has been a swing to move away from the Kings brand.
A decision on whether the Kings will have a new name is expected to be made known as soon as next week. The winds of change are certainly blowing through Eastern Cape rugby at present.