Kings name change idea gets boot
Franchise chair Loyiso Dotwana shoots down suggestion
A call to change the name of the Isuzu Southern Kings has been shot down by franchise chairman Loyiso Dotwana and his board.
Rugby entrepreneur and former Southern Spears chief executive Tony McKeever had called on the Kings’ new owners to stamp their identity on the franchise by renaming the ailing side.
“Since the SA Rugby announcement on the buyout we have been receiving a lot of advice,” Dotwana said.
“Is it amazing that there are so many rugby experts out there, and specially in Port Elizabeth. We have been reviewing all of these and with great interest and we would like to respond to them.
“Regarding a name change we have asked ourselves the question why,” Dotwana said.
“The Kings are already an established brand which suits our identity and serves the aspirations of the entire province and not just this metro.”
McKeever had argued that changing the name would herald a commitment to change.
With the name set to remain, the board will be fully focused on resurrecting a side that has won only two of its 17 PRO14 games this season.
The full Kings board is Dotwana (GRC, chair), Rory Stear (GRC, deputy chairman), Kenny Govender (GRC), Gary Markson (GRC), Bantwini Matika (EP Rugby Union), Shaheed Patel (EP Rugby Union), Michael Sacke (Isuzu Motors South Africa, independent director), Gugu Nxiweni (Improvate Group) independent director.
EP Rugby president Andre Rademan has a standing invitation to attend meetings.
Dotwana said board committees had been formed to put the Kings on track.
“There will be a rugby strategy committee and this will be headed by myself and will be focused on developing a high performance team and culture.
“Also, there will be a revenue generating sub committee which will be led by Rory Stear and will geared at identifying revenue generating opportunities for implementation.“
This will include participation by service providers like Megapro to assist to acquire secondary sponsorships and other fund raising opportunities.
“Our corporate governance sub committee will be spearheaded b Michael Sacke of Isuzu.”
Dotwana said a big emphasis would be put on recruitment strategy.
“We agree we need to build this franchise into one that is able to attract high potential, and specially from this province.
"We will not leave any stone unturned and we will explore ways of strengthening the team.”
The Kings face Ulster in Belfast on Saturday in round 18 of the competition.