Kobus Wiese Supports Local Super 14 Franchise

www.MyPE.co.za: South
African rugby legend Kobus Wiese is supporting the inclusion of an
Eastern Cape franchise in the Super 14 competition, but is wary of them
becoming a “punching bag” for other teams.

Kobus Wiese“It would be very
nice to have the Southern Kings in the tournament,”
he said on Wednesday, ahead of next week’s much-anticipated visits to
Despatch and Port Elizabeth. “But one must be realistic, not emotional,
about this.”

Wiese and Oor die Kole co-presenter Toks van der Linde will be the
guests of honour at spitbraais in Nelson Mandela Bay on Tuesday
(Despatch) and Wednesday (Port Elizabeth) and their visit is sure to
spark more debate around the push for a local super rugby franchise,
especially in the light of the poor run of form shown by the Lions and
Cheetahs.

Wiese said the first question was where the franchise would find
players to be competitive at that level. “There’s no point in just
participating and becoming a punching bag. You must be competitive and
contribute.”

Wiese said there was no shortage of talent in the region, but according
to him the current infrastructure was pushing players to the larger
franchises and unions.

“Most of the top players are already contracted to Super 14 unions.
Where are they (the Southern Kings) going to get the funds to buy top
local or international players?”

“You can’t build a great side overnight – it will take four or five
seasons. Although I love the idea of another Super 14 side, one must
think realistically about it.”

The outspoken player turned television presenter and public speaker
said he and Van der Linde would be up to all their usual antics in the
Bay.

“These events are always light-hearted and tongue-in-cheek. We offer a
behind-the-scenes look at local rugby and dwell on stories not usually
shared with the public.”

While much of the debate will be driven by them, Wiese said the real
fun begins when they open up the floor. “With so many issues flying
around at the moment, who knows what’s going to come up.”

With both the Stormers and Bulls staring down home semi-finals, Wiese
believed that the 2010 Super 14 title was firmly within the grasp of a
local team.

“I think Peter de Villiers must be smiling to have two sides in the
running. I think if they can secure home semis, a South African side
will definitely win.”

He would not be drawn into which side was more likely to come up
trumps. “It’s like a flip of a coin – it all depends on what happens on
the day.”

The public is invited to attend both events. Tickets, which cost R350,
include a spitbraai and open bar. For bookings, phone 041 373 0908 or
send an e-mail to desi10[at]axxess.co.za.

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