With the start of the 2013 Super Rugby season just around the corner, I found it fitting to start this series of articles with a look at the new boys on the block, the Southern Kings from South Africa’s Eastern Provinces.
For one reason or another, there has been plenty of controversy surrounding their ascension to Super Rugby. For now though, I’m going to focus on the rugby side of things.
Ex-Stormers and Sharks loose forward Luke Watson will be captaining the side coached by former Crusaders hooker, Matt Sexton.
The three provincial unions in the Kings’ catchment area have never been able to make an impact on or recently even qualify for the Currie Cup, South Africa’s premier domestic competition. For this reason alone I wouldn’t get my hopes up of them achieving anything but a spot in the next Promotion/Relegation play-offs against the Lions.
Shortly after it was made official that the Kings would be part of this year’s Super Rugby, they went on an expansive shopping spree, acquiring 16 new players and covering just about every position on the field. These purchases included 5 players from other Super Rugby franchises and 6 foreign internationals.
I’m merely guessing, but I think the Southern Kings will not only find themselves completely outclassed, but fail so miserably that all the so-called “progress” they’ve made thus far, would be destroyed in the process.
For it is an honour to participate in the Super Rugby competition, not a right. You must first prove that you are capable of holding a candle to the best in your own country before demanding to be compete in such a prestigious tournament.
My prediction for the Kings is, without a doubt in my mind, the wooden spoon.
by Jackie Smit