By THABISILE MASIMULA
THE future does not look good for some of the leading rugby provincial sides.
Shortly after Absa bank revealed they are not renewing ties with the Natal Sharks, two more teams – Free State Cheetahs and Western Province – are likely to lose their title sponsors.
Both teams are sponsored by the country’s giant mobile company, Vodacom, which is believed is not keen to renew their contract with the two rugby outfits at the end of the 2011 Currie Cup season.
This speculation comes few days after Absa slammed their door on the Sharks after they announced their withdrawal from sponsoring the 2010 Absa Currie Cup finalists.
These new developments have sent a frenzy o excitement through the rugby fraternity, as the game‘s followers watch with keennes which new rugby sponsors will come to the fore.
Absa’s withdrawal means they forfeit their naming rights for Kings Park in Durban.
As from next year the bank will sponsor the national rugby team, Springboks, while they continue theyir long–standing backing of the Currie Cup.
Furthermore, Free State Rugby Union president Harold Verster complained that most companies concentrated more on soccer.
“The economy is tough and companies also invested a lot of money in soccer”, said Verster
Despite all the pressures these teams are facing, the WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd board chairperson Pat Kuhn remains optimistic that something will soon come up for WP.
“We‘re confident that something big will happen for us,” said Kuhn.