Kings bank on SARU leeway
Cheeky Watson (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Southern Kings are hoping the South African Rugby Union (SARU) changes its rule regarding the number of foreign players allowed in Super Rugby in 2013 after admitting they signed a fourth overseas player.
The Kings on Monday secured the services of Toulouse hooker Virgil Lacombe as their fourth overseas player, despite a SARU ruling that they are allowed just two imports.
A SARU spokesperson on Tuesday confirmed to the Rugby365 website
that there is "no change to the status quo" of only two foreign players allowed in local Super Rugby squads.
However, despite this the Kings still went ahead and signed Lacombe in the hope that SARU might have a change of heart.
"The president (Kings boss Cheeky Watson) is in discussion with SARU," said Danie Gouws, a member of the Kings' executive board.
"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 Lacombe joins two Argentineans - scrumhalf Nicolas Vergallo and loose forward Tomas Leonardi - along with New Zealander, Auckland fullback Hadleigh Parkes, in Port Elizabeth.
The Kings replaced the Lions as South Africa's fifth representative for next year's Super competition and will open their 2013 Super Rugby campaign against the Force at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, February 23. Kick-off is at 19:10.