'Change Kings' name to Mandela Bay Saints'

Former Southern Spears CEO Tony McKeever says the Southern Kings should change their name again.

McKeever, who helped to launch the then-Spears franchise in 2005, said the team needed a name that is symbolic of the region and suggested 'Mandela Bay Saints'.

'You've got Nelson Mandela University, you've got the Mandela Bay Stadium, you've got Mandela Bay Municipality, which is one of the four biggest metropolises in the country,' McKeever told Sport24.

'Why bring in a name [Kings] at odds with the whole branding of the area? And you can take this all the way up to Qunu, where Mandela was born, and you embrace the whole area. This is not just for Eastern Province Rugby.

'Eastern Province Rugby's got to be the senior partner and take the lead, but it needs to embrace Border and SWD.'

McKeever told Sport24 that a South African investor, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange for over two decades, could make an offer to buy the Kings.

Last month, SA Rugby assumed management control of the Kings after taking back a 74% shareholding in the organisation from The Greatest Rugby Company in the Whole Wide World (Pty) Ltd – a consortium of locally-based investors.

McKeever said he had suggested to the potential new investor that the Kings use the 'fertile' Eastern Cape land for hemp farming as a way to ensure the sustainability of the franchise and its players via the rugby clubs.

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