The Eastern Province Kings are set to play in this year’s Currie Cup, after all, according to South African media reports.
The Kings’ status in this year’s Currie Cup competition was believed to be in jeopardy as the financially stricken Eastern Province Rugby Union is set to be liquidated this week.
It was reported recently that SA Rugby could ask the Leopards to take the Kings’ place in the Currie Cup’s Premier Division.
But in a dramatic turn of events it appears that the Kings’ status amongst South Africa’s provincial elite has been saved.
Netwerk24 reports that feverish meetings were apparently held between the Port Elizabeth-based Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMM) and the South African Rugby Union (SARU).
Although SARU would not comment on the matter, NMM city manager Johann Mettler confirmed that an announcement on the future of the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) will be made on Thursday.
Mettler wouldn’t elaborate but according to Netwerk24’s sources, the Kings will still play in the Currie Cup and kick off their campaign as scheduled next weekend.
The Kings have already lost more than half of their Super Rugby players and are unable to field a competitive Currie Cup team, while the EPRU is set to be liquidated on Thursday.
It is also reported that Deon Davids, who coached the Kings at Super Rugby level, will coach the Eastern Province team in the Currie Cup.
They are believed to be talking with other unions who are apparently willing to send excess players to Port Elizabeth so that the Kings can at least field a team next weekend while several club players may also be involved.