Leinster's Kiwis denied entry into SA

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 19:49
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NEWS: South Africa's controversial new visa regulations have resulted in two of Leinster's players being denied entry into the country.

New Zealanders Isa Nacewa and Jamison Gibson-Park encountered what were termed "visa issues" at Johannesburg's OR Tambo airport on Wednesday.

Hours after revealing that the two Kiwi players encountered visa issues, Leinster confirmed that the pair will return to Ireland.

The Dublin-based team refused to elaborate on the exact reasons for the denial of entry.

However, the Irish Times have reported that the entry refusal is due to new visa regulations for New Zealand citizens entering South Africa, which came into place in January of this year.

It is claimed the visa regulations are a reciprocal measure after New Zealand implemented a visa system in October 2016 relating to South African nationals.

Leinster sought legal advice at the airport, but two hours after their original statement confirmed that the players are to return to Dublin.

Leinster play the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday and the Cheetahs on Friday week in Bloemfontein - in Rounds Three and Four of the Pro14.

The Leinster statement read: "Leinster Rugby can confirm that both Jamison Gibson-Park and Isa Nacewa have not been granted a visa at this point in time and will as a result return to Dublin at the earliest opportunity.

"Nick McCarthy has been called up to the touring squad as a result and will arrive tomorrow [Thursday].

“Leinster Rugby will be making no further comment on this matter."

Leinster are due to leave for Port Elizabeth on Thursday ahead of their meeting with the Southern Kings.

After Saturday's game, Leinster are due to travel to Cape Town for four days before heading to the Highveld for their game against the Cheetahs.

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Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 13 12 0 1 58
Munster 13 8 0 5 42
Cheetahs 13 8 0 5 40
Cardiff Blues 13 5 0 8 25
Connacht 13 4 0 9 24
Ospreys 13 4 0 9 21
Zebre 13 3 0 10 17
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 13 11 0 2 53
Leinster 13 11 0 2 51
Ulster 13 8 1 4 40
Edinburgh 13 8 0 5 37
Treviso 13 6 0 7 29
Dragons 13 2 1 10 14
Kings 13 0 0 13 4