Cape Town – Kings president Cheeky Watson says the South African Rugby Unionâ€™s (SARU) constant postponement of the decision to award them Super Rugby status in 2013 led to a number of top black players opting against turning out for the Port Elizabeth-based side.
SARUâ€™s decision to allow the Kings into Super Rugby was only finalised in August last year – mere months before the start of this yearâ€™s tournament.
According to Die Burger, Watson made the statement in parliament to members of the portfolio committee on sport and recreation, insisting several top black players decided to sign for other unions as they werenâ€™t sure the Kings would play in the Southern Hemisphereâ€™s premier competition.
The Kings have recently come under fire for not picking enough players of colour, with Watson admitting they’re ashamed of the current racial demographics of the squad. He said he will make it his mission to correct the matter.
Watson said the Kings were denied luring players such as Elton Jantjies (Stormers), Odwa Ndungane (Sharks), Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), Lionel Mapoe (Bulls), Akona Ndungane (Bulls) and Siya Kolisi (Stormers) to Port Elizabeth.
He also said the franchise lost an investment partner because SARU only assured them of one season in Super Rugby, and not three like previously promised.
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