The Future for the PRO14 - Part 9 - who’s next?

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Post by maestegmafia on Fri 1 Mar - 17:36

First topic message reminder :

South African media reports emerging around comments made at PRO14 launch by SA Rugby president Mark Alexander that South African players will be better off playing in the northern hemisphere.

Alexander hinted South African rugby could be heading north on a more permanent basis in the near future.

The Cheetahs and Kings joined the Pro14 last year and there is a strong possibility that two more local teams will be included in the competition next season.

‘It’s a long-term investment. We have options now and in future. At some point in time, in future, if we don’t want to stay in the south [in Super Rugby], we can move north,’ said Alexander.

He added that the involvement of local players and coaches in Europe is beneficial for South African rugby.

‘The Pro14 is a good competition for the players and coaches who’re playing against tier-one nations each weekend. When we become a full Pro14 member next season, we’ll be the only nation who plays in the north and the south, and the major benefit of playing in the northern hemisphere is the players are better off.

‘With the structure of the Pro14 competition the way it is, it’s easier for travelling, with distances between places less than in the south, and the time zones are also better. When you consider player welfare and what’s best for them, then the north is better.’

The rumors are that it will be the Griquas and Pumas who will be proposed by SARU next season as their two new teams.  How well that will be received by the other participating unions remains to be seen given the poor quality of the Kings thus far.    SARU plans to cut the number of professional players in their system from approx 900 to 400 odd using a draft system and to spread the talent across the 8 professional teams.

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Post by Brendan on Thu 28 Mar - 1:32

PhilBB wrote:
Brendan wrote:What are people's views on the Conferences.

I doubt few will care.

What's your view on the proof that no Welsh team has doubled its attendance?

I must go over pages on the last thread to find the article from the trusted WOL. I am not sure if they took their attendance as the first year or the 4 super clubs.

Doubling attendance doesn't mean that they still are double what they were.  Ospreys have had a big fall it doesn't mean they haven't doubled attendance since their creation.

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Post by LordDowlais on Fri 29 Mar - 3:20

This is a little alarming, especially when they are performing better than other teams in their conference this season:-

PRO14 bosses raise concerns over under-performing team that is 'walking a tightrope'
They have won just three of their 39 league matches over the last two seasons

Guinness PRO14 chiefs have raised concerns over the under-performing Southern Kings’ value to the competition.

And the new owners of the team admit they are “on a tightrope” with the league.


The Port Elizabeth-based Kings have won just three of their 39 matches since joining the cross-border competition in the autumn of 2017.

They lie one from bottom of Conference B, just a point ahead of the Dragons, having finished rock bottom last season.

The other South African team to join the league - the Cheetahs of Bloemfontein - have been competitive, winning 18 of their 39 matches and making the play-offs last season.

But the Kings have struggled badly on the field and have also found it hard to generate crowds.

This season their average attendance is just 2,985 and they have moved matches from the 48,000-capacity Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to the much smaller Madibaz Stadium, a university ground with a 15,000 capacity.

According to the chairman of the company which has recently taken over the team, they now find themselves under close scrutiny from league bosses.

“The PRO14 organisation has raised concerns about the Southern Kings’ performances and value to the tournament,” said Loyiso Dotwana.

“We are on a tightrope with PRO14.”

But Dotwana is adamant the Kings will turn things round and his company’s name certainly suggests high confidence.

He is the chairman of The Greatest Rugby Company in the Whole Wide World Ltd‚ which bought a 74 per cent stake in the Kings for approximately R45m (£2.3m) last month.

He says they will look to ensure the team’s PRO14 survival by signing players and bolstering the coaching staff.

“We will respond to these challenges in a positive way,” he said.

“We will recruit some good players in the short term to improve our quality.

“Also‚ coach Deon Davids hasn’t had the right support, so we will help him by employing some new assistants and expertise.”

Dotwana and several associates have vowed they are invested for the long-term to create a top class team in Port Elizabeth.

“There is an expectation that we will throw money at a whole bunch of marquee players, but that’s not the case,” he told TimesLIVE.

“Obviously we are looking for a few big names to bolster the side‚ but the plan is steady growth and improvement.

“In the coming year, we want to build a foundation to be sustainable in the long run.

“As investors we are not in this for three years‚ we are in this for a long time.”


He added: “My message to players about coming to the Kings is simple.

“Firstly‚ we are an ambitious team and we are putting together the necessary human and financial resources to meet that ambition.

“Secondly‚ we are going to instil a high level of accountability across the board because the goal is to be a high performance franchise.

“Lastly we want to have fun within that framework. If a player subscribes to those principles they will be very welcome here.”

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/pro14-bosses-raise-concerns-over-16036501

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 29 Mar - 8:10

LordDowlais wrote:This is a little alarming, especially when they are performing better than other teams in their conference this season:-

PRO14 bosses raise concerns over under-performing team that is 'walking a tightrope'
They have won just three of their 39 league matches over the last two seasons

Guinness PRO14 chiefs have raised concerns over the under-performing Southern Kings’ value to the competition.

And the new owners of the team admit they are “on a tightrope” with the league.


The Port Elizabeth-based Kings have won just three of their 39 matches since joining the cross-border competition in the autumn of 2017.

They lie one from bottom of Conference B, just a point ahead of the Dragons, having finished rock bottom last season.

The other South African team to join the league - the Cheetahs of Bloemfontein - have been competitive, winning 18 of their 39 matches and making the play-offs last season.

But the Kings have struggled badly on the field and have also found it hard to generate crowds.

This season their average attendance is just 2,985 and they have moved matches from the 48,000-capacity Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to the much smaller Madibaz Stadium, a university ground with a 15,000 capacity.

According to the chairman of the company which has recently taken over the team, they now find themselves under close scrutiny from league bosses.

“The PRO14 organisation has raised concerns about the Southern Kings’ performances and value to the tournament,” said Loyiso Dotwana.

“We are on a tightrope with PRO14.”

But Dotwana is adamant the Kings will turn things round and his company’s name certainly suggests high confidence.

He is the chairman of The Greatest Rugby Company in the Whole Wide World Ltd‚ which bought a 74 per cent stake in the Kings for approximately R45m (£2.3m) last month.

He says they will look to ensure the team’s PRO14 survival by signing players and bolstering the coaching staff.

“We will respond to these challenges in a positive way,” he said.

“We will recruit some good players in the short term to improve our quality.

“Also‚ coach Deon Davids hasn’t had the right support, so we will help him by employing some new assistants and expertise.”

Dotwana and several associates have vowed they are invested for the long-term to create a top class team in Port Elizabeth.

“There is an expectation that we will throw money at a whole bunch of marquee players, but that’s not the case,” he told TimesLIVE.

“Obviously we are looking for a few big names to bolster the side‚ but the plan is steady growth and improvement.

“In the coming year, we want to build a foundation to be sustainable in the long run.

“As investors we are not in this for three years‚ we are in this for a long time.”


He added: “My message to players about coming to the Kings is simple.

“Firstly‚ we are an ambitious team and we are putting together the necessary human and financial resources to meet that ambition.

“Secondly‚ we are going to instil a high level of accountability across the board because the goal is to be a high performance franchise.

“Lastly we want to have fun within that framework. If a player subscribes to those principles they will be very welcome here.”

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/pro14-bosses-raise-concerns-over-16036501

Who are the other teams that Kings are outperforming this season? Please dont say the Dragons or Zebre.

The Kings knew on entering the PRO14 that they would be reviewed under the terms of SARU’s Participation Agreement with Celtic Rugby shareholders. That review to happen/conclude at the halfway point of their 6-year PA commitment to the comp.

The promises made by SARU to a) have test quality players in their teams and b) amend the Currie Cup comp so that PRO14 took priority has been slow to happen. Changes are coming in for next season but Kings future hangs in the balance - perhaps the new owners may make a difference. SARU still has to decide on which two teams it will put forward for the next planned move to PRO16 - on the strength (or lack of it) of the Cheetahs and Kings performance to date, nothing less than the Stormers and Bulls will suffice.
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Post by Brendan on Fri 29 Mar - 8:21

Seems like the Kings new owners have been told to improve the team which is good for the league. They have improved this season and I think the league just wants them to that continue.

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Post by BigGee on Fri 29 Mar - 8:25

The Kings will improve if this new company that owns them provides them with the resources to do so. It is not as if South Africa is short on good rugby players and coaches.

They certainly sound confident about being able to do so.

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Post by PhilBB on Fri 29 Mar - 19:49

Pot Hale wrote:

Who are the other teams that Kings are outperforming this season?   Please dont say the Dragons or Zebre.

How do you judge performance if not by the league table?
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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 29 Mar - 19:54

To be fair, Kings are only ahead of Dragons by LBPs. My attitude is, if you're going to lose, you just as well do it properly Wink

Of course, they are highly likely to beat Dragons next week, but that's just because we like our away record (four years to the date yesterday was our last win).

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Post by Eejit on Fri 29 Mar - 19:58

RiscaGame wrote:To be fair, Kings are only ahead of Dragons by LBPs. My attitude is, if you're going to lose, you just as well do it properly Wink

Of course, they are highly likely to beat Dragons next week, but that's just because we like our away record (four years to the date yesterday was our last win).

I don't think the Kings are a million miles away from being a good competitive team. They already made mugs of us in September when we sauntered up expecting a win without working for it. I hope this mob that's bought them give them the firepower they need.

We'll never really find out whether the South African's thought there was a significant gap between Super Rugby and the old Pro12 and whether half arsing their teams was an accident or on purpose but they'll know now as does everyone else that at least some of teams are world class.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Fri 29 Mar - 20:06

Was listening to under the sticks rugby podcast earlier and the bulls have to cut 100 contracts (they have 176 players on their books!!), so there is going to be a lot of young South African talent looking for a new contracts, and there is a good chance the kings or the cheetahs could pick some of them up.

I wouldn’t be surprised if both teams are stronger next season.

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Post by marty2086 on Fri 29 Mar - 20:23

Brendan wrote:Seems like the Kings new owners have been told to improve the team which is good for the league.  They have improved this season and I think the league just wants them to that continue.

Part of the problem is that the Kings have lacked stability, there has been almost two years of uncertainty over their future and that has impacted on retaining and recruiting players and throw in the Currie Cup providing an additional challenge the Kings are having it tougher than others.

Hopefully they can do some decent recruiting and build a strong squad

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Post by Brendan on Sat 30 Mar - 0:34

marty2086 wrote:
Brendan wrote:Seems like the Kings new owners have been told to improve the team which is good for the league.  They have improved this season and I think the league just wants them to that continue.

Part of the problem is that the Kings have lacked stability, there has been almost two years of uncertainty over their future and that has impacted on retaining and recruiting players and throw in the Currie Cup providing an additional challenge the Kings are having it tougher than others.

Hopefully they can do some decent recruiting and build a strong squad

The Kings are in the level below the Currie Cup (until the revamp starts) and they did terrible in it mainly because they didn't take it serious.  In the league LBPs show that teams aren't that far from a win.  Picking up 7 means next year they could get them over the line and pick up 20 more points.  The TBPs tell me they have the firepower to score lots and just need to work on Defence

As you say they have lost all their players each year to other teams and they also had no academy to bring players through because they had no money. Having Currie Cup status and the plan to shrink the size of the four Super Rugby Team squads will make a massive difference to the Kings. Stability helps just look at Connacht and the Scottish teams.

If I was any Club owner I would be talking to Deon Davis about joining my Club.  What he has done with what he has had both on and off the field is amazing.

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