Saru knockout Spears

The Eastern Province Rugby Union will sell 25,1% of their shares to Saru, a move that gifts the national organisation the control over the Southern Spears.

The sale is made to encourage an out of court settlement over the current issue of the Spears involvement in the 2007 Vodacom Super 14 and Absa Currie Cup.

Saru are due to appeal the decision to include the Spears on November 23. If they win this case, the three unions making up the South Eastern Cape franchise will have to pay the legal costs as well as the Spears’ hefty debt.

EPRU president Pat de Silva said: “We will agree to sign under new conditions. We are prepared to have discussions with Saru as soon as possible. EPRU does not want to send a negative message to SA Rugby. We see the benefits of working together.”

De Silva confirmed that the Spears would not dissolve altogether, and there will still be a drive to develop the talent in the area.

Saru has already secured deals to purchase 25,1% shares of both Border and the South Western Districts, the two other unions that make up the Spears. There are also negotiations over the acquiring of Sail’s (South African Investments Ltd) 24,9% shares in each of the three unions.

With a 50% stake in each union, this effectively gives Saru the power to appoint a board member to each union, ultimately enabling them to make any vital decisions over the future of the franchise.