Southern Kings staying put on campus
No immediate plans for team to return to NMB Stadium
The struggling Isuzu Southern Kings will not be making a return to their home base at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the immediate future.
Instead, they will continue to play the at the Madibaz Stadium at Nelson Mandela University campus where their matches have been poorly attended.
In December, EP Rugby president and Kings chairman Andre Rademan said the team would be returning to NMB Stadium because it was their base.
Earlier, the bosses of the Kings and the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), clashed over the signing of a new anchor tenant agreement, which resulted in the Kings changing venues.
“I can say the Kings will go back to the stadium, even though there is still a tenant agreement that has to be signed. It is just a matter of time,” Rademan said.
On Tuesday, however, Kings officials said their team would be playing their next two home games against the Cheetahs (January 18) and Edinburgh (January 26) at the Madibaz Stadium. So far the Kings have won only one of their 11 matches, and their games have attracted small crowds.
Their biggest crowd of the season was 5,063 fans who attended the home game against Ulster on September 16 at the NMB Stadium. The attendance figures for their other games at the Madibaz Stadium were: versus Glasgow (3,160), Scarlets (2,473), Leinster (1,142), Connacht (3,207) and Benetton (1,459). The biggest crowd to watch a Kings match this season was the 7,529 crowd that turned up to watch them play at Parc y Scarlets at Lllenelli in Wales.
Last season 2,836 supporters watched the Kings play Ulster at the Wolfson Stadium, and there were 6,318 fans at the game against Munster at Outeniqua Park in George.
The Kings have also confirmed that their game against the Cheetahs has been switched from January 19 to January 18.
After being beaten 38-0 by Edinburgh in their last game in Scotland, there are injury concerns in the Kings camp ahead of the Cheetahs clash.
Fullback Masixole Banda is receiving attention after getting a knock to his leg and centre Tertius Kruger is scheduled to have an x-ray to an injured hand.
The team arrived home from Scotland on Monday afternoon, and will resume training on Wednesday after a day of rest and recovery.