Thanks to Dallen Stanford for passing this along to us.
The Rugby Showdown has released news that the Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) has decided to withdraw from their tour to the United States of America.
The MTN Golden Lions – a professional rugby franchise based in Johannesburg (South Africa) – were set to face the North American All Stars on April 13th at Cal State Fullerton in California, together with a second fixture in Texas on April 20th.
In an official press release earlier today GLRU CEO, Manie Booysen, expressed the Union’s sincerest apologies to supporters.
“We would like to apologize to all supporters and the players, staff and management who have been affected by the forced late cancellation of the American tour,” said Booysen. “We were also concerned the level of competition that the MTN Lions would face abroad would not be of a strong enough standard”.
The Rugby Showdown organizers had struggled for some time to secure a venue and a quality opponent for the Lions second match, with initial plans inking in Vancouver, Canada, and recently Dallas and Houston, Texas. With the Lions thus only having one fixture, the cost to travel for this tour did not make financial sense.
USA Eagles captain Todd Clever was set to lead the North American All Stars in the April 13th fixture, with Head Coach Mike Tolkin selecting a strong domestic team.
“Today is a really disappointing day for myself and rugby here in the US. I believed that the Rugby Showdown would have been a great success and would have given rugby here more of a voice and shed some light on the incredible job that continues to be done by USA Rugby to develop our game,” commented Clever.
The Rugby Showdown apologizes to all fans that had planned to attend its inaugural event, and a full reimbursement will be received.
The Rugby Showdown organizers will be evaluating the circumstances surrounding the cancellation, and begin planning it’s inaugural event for 2014.
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