Rademan fighting for Kings to stay

EP Rugby Union president Andre Rademan
Picture: George Byron

EPRU president wants team in Super Rugby rather than Europe

Determined EP Rugby Union president Andre Rademan wants the resurgent Southern Kings to play in Super Rugby next year rather than in a European competition. Rademan was talking after a rampant Kings team demolished the Melbourne Rebels 44-3 on Saturday against a backdrop that the team may be cut from Super Rugby next year.

After news broke that SA Rugby would cut two teams from Super Rugby next year, the immediate speculation was that the Kings and Cheetahs would be axed.

The new president, who won a tense election battle to replace Cheeky Watson last month, visited the Kings dressing room to congratulate the team on their emphatic win at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

“I had no words to describe my emotions after the Kings won. I was the proudest man in South Africa,” Rademan said.

“If you look at what coach Deon Davids is doing with this team and where the team started, with no Springboks or big names, what they have achieved is unbelievable.

“It shows you what team work and everyone standing together can do.

“This is the fruit of their labour. The team is going forward,” Rademan said.

After SA Rugby’s decision to cut two teams, there was speculation that the Kings could play in Europe’s PRO12 competition. “Recent reports that I would prefer the Kings to participate in a European rugby competition, rather than play Super Rugby is without foundation, and wrong.

“I will do everything within my power to secure the continued participation of the Kings in Super Rugby,” Rademan said.

“I assure sponsors, partners, clubs, players and supporters that the executive committee and I have only the best intentions for EP Rugby and that we will do whatever it takes to strengthen the union’s financial position.

“We want to make EP Rugby a powerhouse in each and every competition our teams are entered. All options will be considered to determine the optimum benefit to EP Rugby.

“The current SA Rugby decision that only four South African teams will be entered in the Super Rugby competition does not mean that the Kings are cut, or will be cut from Super Rugby.

“The announcement only served to strengthen my resolve to work for the continued participation of the Kings in Super Rugby.”

Rademan believes there are more wins waiting for the Kings this season.

“As the team grows in confidence, and with people rallying behind them, their confidence will continue to grow. That is why I am asking the public to please start filling the stands.

“This is a venture for Eastern Cape Rugby and it is not PE based.”

The team scored six sparking tries, with Wandile Mjekevu, Martin Bezuidenhout, Tyler Paul, Pieter-Steyn De Wet, Makazole Mapimpi and Masixole Banda crossing the line against an outplayed Rebels outfit.

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