Kings respect SARU's decision
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) have reportedly turned down the Kings’ request to field more than two foreign players in their Super Rugby debut for the second time.
The Kings, after SARU rejected their initial request for special dispensation regarding the number of foreign players allowed at the end of last year, proceeded to sign additional foreigners.
The Eastern Cape franchise renewed talks with SARU in an attempt to sway the governing body’s verdict.
However, according to Rapport, SARU’s decision was made final at a meeting on Friday, with an official announcement regarding the matter expected to be made on Monday.
French hooker Virgil Lacombe, Argentinean duo Nicolas Vergallo and Tomas Leonardi, New Zealand fullback Hadleigh Parkes and Kenyan utility forward Daniel Adongo are all on the Kings’ books.
Three of these players would thus find themselves surplus to requirements and will have to return home.
Kings president Cheeky Watson said that whilst the franchise have yet to receive official confirmation from SARU, they will accept their decision.
“The Southern Kings have not received any official confirmation from SA Rugby on this matter as yet, but we have no reason to disbelieve the report.
“If this is the case, we will accept and abide by the decision of SA Rugby. We know that the region has never been fed with a silver spoon, and have no reason to expect any different going into our debut Super Rugby season.
“The path for this region to get a Super Rugby franchise has been fraught with challenges, and yet, despite all the odds, we have overcome them and Super Rugby is a reality, with our first game against Western Force less than a month away.
“We accept that this opportunity comes from a loaded deck of cards, but the bigger the challenge, the bigger the task, the bigger the team and the overall success.
“We will not be releasing any of our foreign players, however, as there are still ample opportunities within our structures for them to contribute.”