Rugby Giants axed

Rugby Giants axed

MASERU-Former Lesotho rugby champions, Rugby Giants, have been axed from the 2021 rugby season after the Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR) upheld the club’s suspension for failing to adhere to the association’s rules.
The new National Rugby Championship season is pencilled to begin in the third week of January with the exact dates to be confirmed with the league’s sponsors in the coming weeks.

However, two-time champions Giants will not be part of the action because the FLR has punished them for failing to honour two consecutive league matches in the just-ended 2020 season without giving any reasons to the FLR.

Giants also failed to present the required number of players needed to register to play in the league which sealed their season-long suspension from the 2021 campaign.
Giants’ suspension means rugby’s elite league will only be contested by five teams – NUL Spears, Roma Kings, Mabote Beavers and Liqhomane and newly-crowned champions Maseru Warriors.

Speaking on Tuesday, FLR chief executive officer Litšitso Motšeremeli said the association has decided not to bring in a sixth team to take Giants’ spot because they want to give the former champions a chance to resolve their issues and return to the league.

Motšeremeli added that Giants’ players will be allowed to join other teams on a temporary basis while Giants are sorting their issues out as a team and the players will be free to return when those issues have been ironed out.
“We will not be adding another team, we want to give Giants a chance to come back. In the meantime, their players will be allowed to join other clubs in order to stay fit because they are national team players,” Motšeremeli said.

“Next year we have (national team) games we will be playing so we need the players fit. However, they will not be allowed to join clubs as executives, only just as players and it must be on a temporary basis,” he said.
This is not the first time Giants have been suspended from the league.
Back in February 2017 they had a big fall-out with the FLR when Giants accused the association of mismanagement and claimed some members of the executive were running the federation like their personal property.

However, in October of the same year Giants and the association had peace talks and resolved their issues which allowed Giants to return to the league.
The 2020 National Rugby Championship season ended last week with Maseru Warriors being crowned the champions.

Tlalane Phahla

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