New era looms for EP rugby

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - OPINION -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.