Kings holding out for foreign legion
With their Super Rugby debut fast approaching, the Kings still have to resolve their issues with SARU over the number of foreign players in their squad.
With their Super Rugby debut approaching, the Kings still have to resolve their issues with SARU over the number of foreign players in their squad.
The Eastern Cape franchise, who have displaced the Lions in the South African conference this year, have named five foreign players in their squad, despite the limit of two set by SARU.
Kenyan forward Daniel Adongo, Kiwi utility back Hadleigh Parkes, French hooker Virgil Lacombe and Pumas players Nicolas Vergallo and Tomas Leonardi were all named in coach Alan Solomons' 40-man squad, and all are busy training with the expectation of playing Super Rugby when the competition kicks off next month.
SARU clarified their position in an official release last year which read: "The status quo remained unchanged regarding the number of overseas players permitted in South African Super Rugby squads," adding: "The present allowance of two is unchanged."
However, despite this Kings President Cheeky Watson is still confident that he can persuade the national body to make an exception for his franchise.
Watson told this website that he is still in negotiations with SARU about allowing the Kings three more foreign players in their squad than any other South African team.
"Negotiations are still going on. All I can say is that it is still ongoing, there is no timeframe," he said.
When probed over what would happen to the players if he does indeed run out of time, Watson explained that he was not sure and joked that they may be able to find new careers in rugby journalism.
"It was announced in August that I was in Super Rugby, so we have always faced tremendous challenges.
"I don't know, I am going to send them to rugby365 to help you guys," he quipped.
By Michael de Vries