Spears still breathing

The Spears saga took another dramatic twist when Saru withdrew their offer for shares in EP rugby.

Having already bought shares in the Spears’ other two provincial unions – Border and SWD – Saru were expected to do the same with EP and take control of the franchise with a 50% stake. This would have allowed them to withdraw the Spears from the Vodacom Super 14 and replace them with the Lions (previously known as the Cats).

However, Saru’s plans were botched following a unanimous show of solidarity from EP’s 116 clubs to retain the asset value with EP rugby and the Spears.

SA Rugby acting MD Basil Haddad confirmed Saru withdrew their offer to buy shares, because they could not deliver on the conditions the union had attached to the sale of its shares.

Last Friday, Sanzar issued the fixture list for the 2007 Super 14 and listed the fifth South African franchise as “SA 5″. Saru’s appeal against Judge Dennis Davis’ initial court ruling in August — stating the Spears should play in the Super 14 because Saru and the franchise had a legal and binding agreement —will be heard on 23 November.

Meanwhile, the president of Hankey Villagers, John Dedaa, has nominated Tony McKeever for president of Eastern Province rugby.

EP hold their elections on the 18 November in which 116 clubs will cast their vote to determine the new leadership.