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Monday, June 24, 2024

Boland won’t be a feeder team for the Bulls, says Johann Rupert company

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Durban – The planned takeover of the Boland Rugby Union by business tycoons Johann Rupert and Patrice Motsepe has nothing to do with the Cavaliers becoming a feeder union to the Bulls and everything to do with them becoming rivals to the Stormers.

Rupert and Motsepe have the controlling share in the Bulls and the immediate reaction to the news of their planned investment in Boland is that there will be a plundering of resources for the benefit of the Bulls.

But a spokesman for the duo told News24 that nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, there is a bold plan to build Boland into a franchise worthy of the United Rugby Championship, and more of a foe to the Bulls than a friend.

“We specifically see a place for two URC franchises in the Western Cape, of which we want Boland Rugby to be one of them,” the Remgro spokesman Jannie Durand told News24.

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“It’s not our intention to partner with Boland to make them a part of a feeder system for a bigger franchise, like the Blue Bulls. Our involvement will be on the premise that we want to take the professional team of Boland to compete internationally and make Boland a world-class brand.

“We, therefore, intend running it autonomously and separately from any other entity, like the Blue Bulls,” said Durand.

All of this is news to SA Rugby but that does not mean it is a problem. There is nothing illegal about parties negotiating with each other, but the proposal will need to be submitted to the governing body for approval.

This surely will be no more than a rubber stamp. The game in this country is desperate for financial injections and the intention of the parties to promote rugby in the Boland can only be welcomed.

“The consortium’s objective for the investment is to have a great impact on South Africa and its communities,” said Durand.  “We are passionate about sport and believe that an investment in Boland Rugby can be an effective vehicle to develop young people, unlock talent, foster diversity and inclusion and strengthen the communities in the Boland region.

“As Bolanders, we are keen to play a bigger role in Boland Rugby. We believe that an investment in the professional company, which also provides support to the amateur rugby structures through the schools and clubs, will ensure that the pathway to compete at the highest level will be secured and strengthened in the years to come.”

IOL Sport

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