Well done to Frank Dean for correctly pointing out that Rugby Southland and the Southland Outdoor Trust are one and the same.
In recent years, Rugby Southland has received millions of dollars of public money via the ILT and the Community Trust of Southland.
We now hear the community trust is about to write $200,000 off one of its loans, something it stated it would not do.
(Good news for other organisations with loans).
Until such time that the tap is turned off, this will continue.
Southland Rugby has just contracted the ''in-form'' Super Rugby player Lima Sopoaga to play for Southland this year.
Normally this would be great news but, given their financial situation, the money spent on securing his signature should go to reducing debt.
There are plenty of good players in Southland who would love to pull on the Southland jumper, at no cost. It's time to start selecting them.
We may have to bite the bullet and end up dropping a division in the next year or two but, one Rugby Southland gets back in the black and goes out and secures some sponsorships and does not rely on the public handouts it is now receiving, it can set about going after bigger prizes like division one, and the Ranfurly Shield, and this time not at the expense of other sports and community groups as it does at the moment.
J P DUNNE
- The Southland Times