PE may lose Test

Another crisis looms in Eastern Cape rugby with the second Test against between the Springboks and Scotland in Port Elizabeth in jeopardy.

The final decision as to whether EP Rugby will host the Test match against Scotland has been postponed until Friday, after SA Rugby deputy president Mike Stofile said the SA Rugby directors had decided to give the EP Rugby Union until Friday to meet the requirements set out at the last board meeting.

If the EPRU does not meet them, the union will forfeit the right to host the Test match on June 17, the Herald Online reported.

“We do not want to appear as if we are not prepared to give EPRU a chance, or to be seen as having ulterior motives. We are willing to be lenient,” he said.

However, EPRU acting president Aldy Meyer said SA Rugby’s delay in making a final decision was putting extra pressure on the union in its final preparations for the Test match.

He said the tickets were ready to be printed, but had to be held back until it was certain that the EPRU would be hosting the game.

“This unnecessary delay is creating a lot of uncertainty among the general public as to whether the Test will be hosted in Port Elizabeth, and this will surely have a negative effect on our final ticket sales,” he said.

The conditions set by SA Rugby were that the EPRU provide a bank guarantee for the R4,65-million required to host the Scotland Test by April 13, and that EPRU repay an outstanding amount of R2-million from last year’s France Test. Meyer said the conditions had only been announced after the last directors’ meeting on March 29.