Q: What's your take on the Kings in their first season? Out of the blocks fast then fizzle out, or in for the long game? David
Tough question David, considering the Kings have had only one game this year and that was at home to the Western Force who finished 14th last season. This team needs to be given a chance to succeed, and over time in a passionate and largely untapped market of rugby in South Africa, they will create a culture, a fan base and a development programme that will enhance this competition.
Whether the Kings are in for the long game or not is up to SARU. As it stands, they have been granted only a one year deal to play, which must put immense pressure on them.
I cannot see the need to change or expand if franchises aren't given a better opportunity than that.
Some pleasing aspects of their opening game were the quality of their stadium and the crowd that attended, the style of play New Zealand coach Matt Sexton had them operating under and that they had 15 South Africans in their starting line-up, six of them from Port Elizabeth or the Eastern Cape.
So this year might be a fizzle, but given time who knows where this team may end up.
Have you any information about whether Jerome Kaino has given any indication of his plans after finishing this season in Japan, especially with regard to seeking a spot with the All Blacks for the next Cup? Julian
Sorry I don't have any inside oil on JK's plans after his current contract, but I would advise both parties to stop chasing the dream of RWC 2015. We need to trust in the talent we have so they too can become as great as JK was as an All Black.
The NZRU would also save a whole lot of cash and Jerome and his family would no doubt be better off financially and in life experiences if he stayed overseas.
Don't get me wrong, JK was a fantastic player, but he has moved on and so should we.
If he would like to come home and finish his playing career in front of family and friends, giving back to the game at club or NPC level then that would be welcomed and fantastic.
But I wouldn't mortgage our game on such a return and deny a young player his opportunity to shine.