WARRIORS chief Alan Solomons has revealed his heartbreak at the demise of the Southern Kings, the South African side he guided into Super Rugby.
Kings have lurched from one financial disaster to another in recent years, culminating last weekend in the current PRO14 team being put into voluntary liquidation with seven-figure debts and no prospect of income in 2020 because of the ongoing Coronavirus restrictions in sport across the world.
Solomons left the Kings in 2013 having steered the team into the Super Rugby competition and guided them through their debut year which saw them compete as one of five South African teams.
“It’s heart-breaking because I coached them against the British and Irish Lions in 2009 and when they won the IRB Nations Cup in 2011,” he said
“They had a vibrant and flourishing academy and some fantastic rugby-playing schools so it is very upsetting to see what has happened.”
Despite the collapse of his former side, Solomons labelled rumours loose forward Bobby de Wee would make the move from the fallen Kings to Sixways as ‘purely speculative’.
On the field, Warriors return to the field on Wednesday (September 3) when Saracens visit Sixways and the Warriors boss praised the fallen Premiership giants, who will be relegated to the Championship next weekend.
“They are a fantastic team and they showed that with their performance against Leinster in the European Champions Cup on Saturday. They were without Owen Farrell, the best fly-half in the world, but Alex Goode stepped in had a a terrific game.
“Saturday’s performance was exceptional and I do hope that we get a Saracens v Exeter final,” he added.
In the week Warriors owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham said the prospect of no fans at Sixways and no COVID-19 safe events for the perhaps six months put further pressure on the club’s chances for financial survival, Solomons revealed his hopes things would change sooner.
“No one anticipated the impact the pandemic would have. A lot of it is beyond our control but sporting bodies, including Premiership Rugby and the RFU, have approached the Government to discuss potential support and we will just have to see how that unfolds,” he said.
“Everyone wants to play in front of crowd and we want to have spectators back as soon as it safe to do so. The TV coverage has been superb and I have watched a lot of rugby over this period but people want to be there to witness it live and we need spectators to generate an atmosphere.”