There’s the normal ones like, can a South African side win this year? Will the Stormers finally do it? Can the Cheetahs be competitive? Will the Bulls return to there former glory or have another disappointing year? Then their are new questions to ponder which all stem from the controversial inclusion of the Southern Kings into this years competition at the expense of the Lions.
Now before I go any further I must let you all know that I come from the bay and therefore am a Southern Kings supporter so my opinion on the matter will most likely be a biased one, but I’ll try and stay as impartial as I can.
Okay, so last year after months of speculation and controversy, SARU finally came to a decision of bringing the Kings into Super Rugby at the expense of the Lions after they were denied having an extra team by SANZAR because of tv contract agreements not allowing this to happen. They then added that Kings would only be assured one year as after that the lowest team on the SA conference at the end of the competition would play the Lions in a promo/relegation match.
Now this didn’t really benefit anyone, because of how late the decision was made. Kings have had virtually no time to prepare a competitive squad, and for the Lions they will now inevitably lose players and sponsors, notably Coca-Cola pulling out of their sponsorship of Ellis Park.
So many questions are being asked like, will Kings be at all competitive? Can Lions keep there squad strong? Will this Lions Challenge be a success or failure? And all this will be answered in the coming months, and it will be very interesting to see what all unfolds.
Personally I don’t blame anyone for this but SARU, as they have really messed both teams around and have made a laughing stock out of SA rugby to outsiders. I do however believe that while they came to the decision much to late, the decision they did make was the right one, as they did promise the Kings inclusion, and hey, its not like the Kings can do any worse right?