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EPRU President calls on residents to rally behind the Kings

Sep 21, 2017
EPRU President calls on residents to rally behind the Kings

The Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) on Thursday called on the entire Eastern Cape community to rally behind the Southern Kings this Saturday as they host the Italian team Zebre at the Nelson Mandela Stadium, in Port Elizabeth.

"EPRU is fully behind the Southern Kings and we are working very closely with SA Rugby (SARU) to get the team back under local control," said André Rademan, EPRU President.

"Negotiations between EPRU and SARU are proving to be more complex than anticipated, because of the recent history of maladministration before the current executive had been elected in April.

"Frustration in certain circles resulted in an unfortunate and impetuous threat of a boycott of Kings games, fuelled by exaggerated media reports and vaunted banners."

Rademan said that a mature and calculated meeting of minds since Tuesday has now resulted in a closer relationship among members of the executive committee, and in a new found commitment to a unified front to ensure the soonest and complete management control over EP teams and EP commercial rights.

"I assure all interested parties that EPRU is fighting, as did the Kings fight above their weight in the 2017 Super Rugby competition, to bring normalcy to rugby management within its ranks," he added.

"Unified, enthusiastic support for the Kings, this Saturday, and throughout the exciting PRO14 season, is a ticket to sustainable EPRU success."

Rademan further said that the Eastern Cape is the spiritual home of rugby in our country: South Africa entered the international rugby stage on the afternoon of Thursday, July 30, 1891, when a national team met WE (Bill) Maclagan’s British in Port Elizabeth.

"Port Elizabeth today is the core of the city bearing the august name of the man who inspired a nation and the world – the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

"The EPRU executive committee is delighted to have a rugby franchise we can call EP’s own," he described.

"The Kings ensures that the Eastern Cape remains an active participant on the international rugby stage.

"We would like to assure the PRO14 management, and all the visiting teams we are privileged to host, that our noisy and patriotic fans will be there to welcome them as we venture into this exciting new chapter of rugby in the heart of the game in South Africa."