We are aware of the problem
The Southern Kings have admitted they went ahead and signed additional foreigners, despite a South African Rugby Union statement that they are allowed just two imports.
Kings Director of Rugby Alan Solomons confirmed to this website on Monday that Toulouse hooker Virgil Lacombe has become their fourth international player for Super Rugby next year.
This, despite a recent SARU statement, that all South African franchises are allowed just two foreigners.
"The status quo remained unchanged regarding the number of overseas players permitted in South African Super Rugby squads," a recent SARU media release said, adding: "The present allowance of two is unchanged."
On Tuesday a SARU spokesman confirmed to this website that there is "no change to the status quo".
Danie Gouws, a member of the Kings executive board, said they are talking to SARU in an attempt to change this ruling.
"The President [Kings boss Cheeky Watson] is in discussion with SARU," Gouws told this website.
"We understand the status quo remains, but hopefully it changes in the next week or two - then [if the ruling changes] we can use those players.
"We are aware of the problem and we realise nothing has changed - we are only allowed two players," Gouws added.
The 28-year-old French hooker, Lacombe, will join two Argentineans, scrumhalf Nicolas Vergallo and loose forward Tomas Leonardi, along with a New Zealander, Auckland fullback Hadleigh Parkes, at the Port Elizabeth franchise.
However, should SARU stand firm, two of these may suddenly find themselves surplus to requirements and will have to return home.
By Jan de Koning