Downsizing Lions to offer severance packages to players

09 November 2018 - 14:00 By Khanyiso Tshwaku
Bulls vs Lions during the Interprovincial Sevens held at Mbombela Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Nelspruit, South Africa.
Bulls vs Lions during the Interprovincial Sevens held at Mbombela Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Nelspruit, South Africa.
Image: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

The Lions Rugby Company will be offering players mutual severance packages in line with the downsizing of professional rugby players in South Africa.

In a statement released on Friday afternoon‚ the LRC‚ in conjunction with the South Africa Rugby Player's Association (Sarpa) and the South African Rugby Employer's Association (Sareo)‚ have been in discussion in regards with how the sensitive matter of culling professional player numbers could be handled.

Earlier this year there were reports in various media outlets saying there was going to be a new contracting system that was going to cut South Africa's professional rugby-playing stocks by more than 50 percent.

In the statement‚ Sarpa's general manager for playing affairs Mandisi Tshonti said this was best way possible for the franchise and the players.

“With unions experiencing ongoing stress determined by factors within the industry‚ we can expect more of these processes to follow in the future‚” Tshonti said.

“This process isn't new in the industry and as the representatives of the players‚ we were informed of the planned consultations with the players. From past experiences‚ we've seen that if the process is followed correctly‚ it'll be beneficial for both parties.”

LRC high performance manager Bart Schoeman said their hand was forced by the changing financial landscape in rugby.

“Processes have been enforced to ensure sustainability and succession plans within the franchise. After numerous meetings with all the relative parties‚ the industry changes have forced a change in strategic planning‚” Schoeman said.

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