Editorial: Southern Kings face testing time

Whatever happens regarding their Super Rugby future, the Southern Kings look certain to undergo an urgent and enforced staff rebuilding programme.

Most of the Kings players are contracted only for Super Rugby and after their last game against the Cheetahs on July 14, many will be facing an uncertain future.

The fact that SA Rugby said it would confirm the four entrants to a revised Super Rugby competition next year only on July 7 has not helped matters.

The Kings only have three Super Rugby matches remaining and the future of the franchise will be weighing heavily on their minds as they go about their business until the end of the season.

Because of the Super Rugby announcement delay there has been widespread speculation that the Kings and Cheetahs have already been cut, and that they will compete in an enlarged European Pro12 tournament later this year.

Concerned Kings head coach Deon Davids has said that he would like to have a decision made on the Kings as soon as possible because his players are under pressure to make decisions about their careers.

Davids says the current situation is in the back of the minds of all his players and that it is a difficult situation to be in.

However, he says that they will live day by day and eventually accept the decision made by SA Rugby chiefs. Davids is right when he says if the Kings end up playing in the revamped Pro12 competition it will pose huge, new challenges. It is clear that of the current group of players there will not be many left when the Super Rugby season comes to an end.

Pro12 rugby is set to kick off in September and there will be a lot of work for Davids and his assistant coaches to do to ensure the team are ready for what will be a tough assignment.

Despite all the distractions, Davids says his team are totally focused on their remaining Super Rugby games, against the Jaguares, Bulls and Cheetahs.