The broken promises of axed Eastern Province rugby boss Cheeky Watson (64) may have cost him R23.4m, with a crushing default judgment made against him by Eastern Cape High Court (Port Elizabeth) Judge Gerald Bloem yesterday.

The Herald reports with the 18 disgruntled ex-Kings rugby players finally calling foul on his assurances over the past four months that he would come up with some of the money owed to them, the order now allows their legal team to go through Watson’s assets with a fine-tooth comb to try to recoup their outstanding salaries.

In addition, the binding order means they can go after any money he should earn in the foreseeable future.

But Watson still has one final lifeline – if he can come up with R5m, plus the players’ mounting legal fees, by the close of business on Friday, as per the initial agreement.

On 26 March, Watson had consented to judgment against him for R23.4m if he did not come up with the R5m, in addition to all legal costs, before 19 July.

The report notes Watson is also due back in the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court on 5 August on charges of fraud and money laundering related to the alleged siphoning off of Integrated Public Transport System funds.

Full report in The Herald (subscription needed)