Second SA group talk of takeover

A second foreign consortium planning to gatecrash England club rugby today spell out their intentions. Jason Smith, a leading Cape Town-based players' agent, fronts London South Africa and believes the potential is "massive". He is in direct competition with the cash-laden London Tribe, whose spokesman is former Bok captain Bob Skinstad.

"London South Africa RFC will offer 500,000 expats the opportunity to bond away from home," says Smith, who manages the careers of 10 current Boks. "The attraction of the business venture is to create a Springbok-type atmo-sphere in London. Building a successful club requires a solid foundation. Our foundation is the support base.

"We would like to have things in place by June next year, but if we have to wait until 2006 or 2007 then we will. Our business plan is evolving on a weekly basis. We are looking to raise capital of £8 million to invest in the first three years. If successful, we should have a quality sports brand and business with a value of £20m five years after start-up.

"The business plan is based on marketing the brand and consistent winning rugby. It is easier said than done, but I am confident that the standard of players we have in mind will suffice at each level."

As traditionalists retreat into their laager at the thought of more South Africans riding over the hill looking to set up camp, Smith offers comfort. "We had a meeting with Sir Clive Woodward on a recent visit to London and outlined that we will have at least 11 English-qualified players in every 22. The idea was taken on board by Woodward. Obviously we intend fielding some Springboks - and we will need them to beat the top teams in England. We also represent Stuart Abbott, Michael Horak, Geoff Appleford, Ryan Strudwick and Jake Boer, all whom have had a positive influence on English rugby."

While a source suggests that Rotherham (and not Orrell) is the club at the top of London Tribe's list, Smith is happy to start more modestly and work through the ranks, operating within RFU and Premier League guidelines. "We have not ruled out National League Two," he says, perhaps dropping a hint. "But whatever club we buy, we will relocate to London. We realise the need to have a stadium in the capital, and have held talks with the Loftus Road plc."

London South Africa could tug the heartstrings of the expats more than the rival consortium, which is known to have strong New Zealand links. The danger with the other bid is that London Tribe - only a working title, argues Skinstad - might struggle to sustain large crowds, as Antipodeans rarely support the same team.

Smith recognises the need for any new club to fill seats. "To be viable, we need 15,000 fans to watch us, week in and week out. I wish Skinstad and his consortium all the best. There are some impressive names linked to his plan. It is good for rugby."

With the Kolpac ruling affording South Africans the chance to work in England without a Home Office official banging on their door, the natives are getting restless at the thought of a takeover. But the potential of 15,000 fans at club matches, and an injection of South African talent to benefit England, is one which might yet appeal to those who have the final say.

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
Louis van Gaal at the Hawthorns prior to Manchester United's game against West Brom
football

Follow the latest updates from the Monday night Premier League fixture

News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past