The Lions can breath a sigh of relief after it has been reported that they will most likely remain in Super Rugby for at least three more years.
The Cape Argus’ Zelim Nel reported on Sunday that the EP Kings have accepted a R40million payment from SARU to forfeit their inclusion into the 2013 tournament as promised by SARU in January.
SARU was banking on the fact that they could persuade SANZAR to expand the tournament to 16 teams from 2013 but SANZAR CEO Greg Peters poured cold water over that plan before SARU could even do a presentation of possible scenarios. Peters said they will not consider any change to the structure of the tournament until 2016 when the broadcasting rights are reviewed.
The new deal between the Kings and SARU allegedly includes guaranteed SuperRugby inclusion from 2016 and will also see the Kings play in the Absa Currie Cup Premier division from next year.
Cape Argus’ Zelim Nel cites sources close to the deal as saying the reason for the Kings’ acceptance of the money is because they did not lure enough top players to the region as they hoped to do. The Kings will apparently use the R40million and Currie Cup inclusion to build a team that will be ready for SuperRugby in 2016
EDIT: Since the article appeared in the Cape Argus, the EP Kings have taken to Twitter and denied the allegation of this new deal.
They posted the following message: “The story going around we’ve taken money to stay out of Super Rugby in 2013 is NOT TRUE ! We will be playing Super Rugby in 2013″
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