Relegation won’t be the end of Lions – de Klerk

Lions President Kevin de Klerk said his side was the weakest link in the previous Super Rugby season.

Lions Rugby Union President Kevin de Klerk. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Lions President Kevin de Klerk on Thursday admitted his team's poor performance did not do them any favours.

On Thursday, the Johannesburg-based side was relegated from the Super Rugby tournament after they finished bottom of the log last season.

The Lions will be replaced by the EP Kings.

De Klerk said their poor form is a valid argument.

"We are guilty of not having competed successfully in the Super 15 this year and we don't deny that. However, the Lions performed their best in 20 years during 2011."

At the same time, South African Rugby Union (Saru) CEO Jurie Roux believes the EP Kings are not set up to fail.

The Eastern Cape team will be given one season to prove they can stay in Super Rugby.

"If you want to play at the highest level, you've got to prove yourself at the highest level. I'm sure there will be a lot of debate and proposals coming back to the general council," he said.

Rugby supporters took to social networks to voice their opinions.

Graeme Joffe wrote, "Even with my Lions hat off, this has got to be one of the worst decisions in SA Rugby history. It smacks and stinks of everything unethical."

Rugga World tweeted "Kings decision, a victory for rugby administrators."