Kings want foreign freebie

Thu, 20 Sep 2012 16:27
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The South African Rugby Football Union will soon have to make another crucial call on the Southern Kings, ahead of their Super Rugby debut in 2013.

The South African Rugby Football Union will soon have to make another crucial call on the Southern Kings, ahead of their Super Rugby debut in 2013.

Eyewitness News reported on Thursday that the Kings have asked SARU for special dispensation to field more than the regulation two foreign players.

SARU confirmed that the regulation across all SANZAR countries - South Africa, New Zealand and Australia - are that only two foreigners per franchise are allowed.

However, there is a principle for special dispensation in Australia - where the Rebels were allowed 10 foreigners in their first season, to be reduced annually over five years, while the Western Force had their quota increased to three for 2013.

In South Africa the SANZAR executive committee - not the full council - will make this call and they will consider the "request" at their next meeting.

The Kings, who were promoted to Super Rugby for 2013, will hope to avoid finishing last in the SA conference - as the bottom team in the conference will face the relegated Lions in a promotion-relegation series at the end of the season.

The men from Port Elizabeth on Wednesday confirmed the signing of three high-profile South Africans - Andries Straus (Cheetahs), Steven Sykes (Sharks) and Demetri Catrakilis (Western Province).

Kings boss Cheeky Watson said they were in talks with a number of other high-quality players - including players in Argentina and Europe.

However, they required permission from SARU for additional players - as they already have Kiwi prop Clint Newland and Samoan wing Paul Perez on their books.

"It's not a definite," Watson told EWN.

"There are nine players [both foreign and South African] we are looking at.

"First choice is obviously a South African born and bred player, and we're going to reassess the situation as we go along."

Watson confirmed that their request has been forwarded to SARU.

"It's not a decision that they really have to make. It's a decision that has to be made as we go along, because we may just land up being in a position that we don't have to sign any foreign player. So it's a situation that one will know in the next two weeks.”

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