No one from the SARU executive attended the Kings Super Rugby debut. There was nothing official by way of congratulations. But the custodian of the game was quick to speak out when the Kings fielded three instead of two foreigners in the match 22 against the Chiefs.
The absolute desire to see the Kings fail from within the national executive is disgusting.
The haters of the Kings have a right of choice, opinion and expression of speech, however limited and demeaning it may be in articulation and expression, but the national governing body could surely show a bit more class instead of the obvious crassness we’ve seen since they were forced to include the Kings in Super Rugby when they cocked up a promise to the Lions that the Kings would be there because of a tournament expansion.
This franchise is the good news story in a unified South African rugby. It is the rainbow story, by choice and not construction. More than 100 000 of all cultures have attended the Kings three home games. Australians and New Zealanders can’t stop talking about the romance of the Kings’ debut month.
Every South African rugby writer who has made the trip to Port Elizabeth has written of the energy of the crowd, of the diverse cultural representation of the crowd, of the atmosphere at the ground and of the incredible spirit of those who play in the Kings’ jersey.
SARU’s national executive failed to see the significance of the Kings debut. All they see is the irritation of it. Typical of cowards there has been nothing but silence as the Kings have won the hearts of so many through the courage of their performance.
SARU hasn’t thanked them for adding a dimension to the game in South Africa but those who double as the custodians have demanded a report as to why the Kings fielded three foreigners in their match 22 against the Chiefs, when the SARU regulation limits all South African franchises to just two players.
The Kings, in their debut match, started with 15 South Africans and injury to captain Darron Nell in the warm-up of the Chiefs match forced a last minute call-up to a third foreigner.
SARU wants a report about it and were very quick to make public that they wanted this report.
They weren’t as quick to wish the Kings well prior to their first game and they weren’t rushing to congratulate the Kings on becoming the first tournament newcomer to ever win on debut.
The Kings represent the future of the game in this country. SARU is the relic that represents everything despicable about the past.
By Mark Keohane