Southern Kings name change deadline looms

Fans have until midday Thursday to indicate whether they are in favour of a name change and, if so, what they would like the new name to be.
Fans have until midday Thursday to indicate whether they are in favour of a name change and, if so, what they would like the new name to be.
Image: Supplied

A decision on whether the Southern Kings will be renamed before the new PRO14 season kicks off will be made next week, EP Rugby president Andre Rademan said.

Fans have been urged to air their opinion on the possible rebranding of the struggling franchise before the midday deadline on Thursday.

The public can e-mail EP Rugby official Amie Kuhn at the address: amie@eprugby.co.za (for the attention of Nadia Njomba) with their views.

In the e-mail they must indicate whether they are in favour of a name change and, if so, what they would like the new name to be.

“So far there has been quite a bit of interest coming in from the public,” Rademan said.

“It is important for EP Rugby that people participate in the poll because they are all stakeholders.

“The executive will meet tomorrow night to discuss matters.

“The board will sit and we will give the result of the poll next week.

“The EP Rugby Union executive has already decided that the name must change.

“We have dealt with SA Rugby and there is no problem from them.

“The executive thought it was a good idea, but it is not easy just changing a name.

“There are different stakeholders and roleplayers involved.”

Rademan said he would like a name change for a few reasons.

“There is a lot of baggage around the name, when you speak to sponsors there is a lot of negativity around the Kings,” he said.

“That is why the executive felt it must change, but that is the feeling of the executive and it is not what it is going to be.”

Since their inception in 2009 with a game against the British and Irish Lions, the Kings have endured a turbulent history.

“There is a timeframe involved because we are kicking off the new PRO14 season in September and there will be a lot of administrative work involved in changing the name,” Rademan said.

“If the majority want a change then they will also decide on the new title.

“But if the majority say no, then [the name] will stay the same.”

Since the appointment of a new EP Rugby executive under Rademan, there has been a swing to move away from the Kings brand which was tarnished during the financial troubles that crippled the union.

The EP Kings have already reverted back to the EP Elephants for the SuperSport Rugby Challenge and Currie Cup tournaments.

The Elephants have lost their opening three matches and travel to Montague on Saturday to face the Boland Cavaliers.

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