Super 15 Rugby 2013: Previewing Kings vs. Lions Relegation Fixture

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIIJuly 25, 2013

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 11: Jannie Boshoff scoring a try for the Lions during the Super Rugby warm up match between Southern Kings and MTN Lions from Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on February 11, 2011 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Mike Sheehan / Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

The 2013 Super 15 Rugby Draw is in full swing, as some of the top teams in the world have come together to fight for league supremacy. While all have dreams of winning the title, some are simply looking to remain afloat.

Two of those teams, the Southern Kings and MTN Lions, will be playing in a relegation fixture to determine who remains in the standings for the Super 15 table.

Both squads have struggled to piece together victories at the highest level, thus falling out of championship contention. With that being said, losing this relegation match would be a significant blow to their future in professional rugby.

Here's what you need to know about their monumental clash.

Round: 22

Date: Friday, July 26

Time: 1 p.m. ET

TV: Sky Sports

Southern Kings

Entering this match, the Southern Kings are 3-12-1, making for a league-worst 24 points. They're five points behind the second-lowest team in the Super 15 and a full 42 behind the first place Waikato Chiefs.

In other words, they simply aren't faring well at this juncture.

If the Kings are defeated in their forthcoming matches, they will face relegation and drop out of the Super 15. If they're able to win, they will live to fight another day.

This is as close to a must-win as you'll find.

The Kings, hailing from South Africa, are led by standout players Tomas Leonardi of Argentinia and Jaco Engels of Namibia. They may not be producing victories, but they're talented players with enough ability to lead this win.

They and their teammates will need every ounce of their ability to escape this one with a victory and an early edge as they fight to avoid relegation.

MTN Lions

The MTN Lions operated a squad in the Super 15 until 2012, when they were relegated out of the ranks of the elite. Now, with the Kings struggling to piece together victories, there is a legitimate possibility that they re-emerge as a participant.

If they do, it certainly won't be easy.

Team captain JC Janse van Rensburg is a class player, but those surrounding him are far from elite. When it comes to stepping up and winning when it matters most, however, there's reason to believe that the Lions are capable.

The fact they're playing a team that can't seem to buy a victory certainly doesn't hurt.

Re-entering the Super 15 would be fitting, as the Golden Lions are a strong organization, and they now have a chance to re-enter the Super Rugby tournament with a massive victory.