Kings in SARU stand-off?
Kings in SARU stand-off?SHARE
The Southern Kings appear to be heading for a stand-off with the South African Rugby Union over their quota of foreign imports.
This follows the announcement by the Super Rugby newcomers, the Kings, of a 35-man squad that features all five of their foreign players.
The Eastern Cape franchise, who will make their Super Rugby debut against the Force on February 23, have recruited Argentine Test players Tomas Leonardi and Nicolas Vergallo, Kiwi utility back Hadleigh Parkes, French hooker Virgile Lacombe and Kenyan forward Daniel Adongo, and have been in negotiations with SARU to allow all five of them to participate this season.
This decision by the Kings is in contradiction of a SARU decision that the Southern Kings will not be allowed more than the regulation two foreign players.
SARU, at a meeting last month, confirmed that the status quo remains – only two foreigners per team.
On Tuesday SARU confirmed that they are "addressing" the subject with the Kings.
The participation agreement, accepted by all South African franchises, makes it clear that only two foreigners are allowed per 30-man squad.
The Kings may well be arguing that the three additional foreigners are only part of their wider squad of 35 and not the official Super Rugby squad.
Southern Kings squad:
Forwards: Schalk Ferreira, Jaco Engels, Hannes Franklin, Virgile Lacombe, Bandise Maku, Edgar Marutlulle, Kevin Buys, Grant Kemp, Steven Sykes, David Bullbring, Darron Nell, Rynier Bernardo, Daniel Adongo, Wimpie van der Walt, Mpho Mbiyozo, Tomas Leonardi, Cornell du Preez, Devin Oosthuizen, Luke Watson (captain), Jacques Engelbrecht.
Backs: Shaun Venter, Johan Herbst, Nicolas Vergallo, Demetri Catrakilis, George Whitehead, Andries Strauss, Hadleigh Parkes, Ronnie Cooke, Waylon Murray, Michael Killian, Sergeal Petersen, Marcello Sampson, Siyanda Grey, SP Marais, Elric van Vuuren.
By Jan de Koning