Cape Town - Did the EP Kings jump the gun when they announced they had signed Springbok hooker Bandise Maku from the Lions for the 2013 Super Rugby season?
According to the supersport.com website, the Kings announced on Wednesday they had secured the signatures of Maku, Toulouse and Argentinean scrumhalf Nicolas Vergallo and Hadleigh Parkes from the Blues, but it is over Maku’s signature that there seems to be a lot of confusion.
The Lions say they have not spoken to the Kings to loan any players and know nothing about Maku’s apparent move.
The matter was further thrown into confusion when Maku used the social network Twitter to deny signing with the Kings as well.
“No final decision has yet been made on my future. You guys will be amongst the first to know what I decide,” Maku said on Twitter.
So at this moment, without any word from Maku’s agent, Anthony Johnson, it seems the Kings may have been a bit premature in announcing their signing.
Things were further exacerbated when the Lions denied that the Kings had ever approached them for any player. The Kings had used the Lions' refusal to release players as part of their plea to the South African Rugby Union to sign more overseas players than the rules allow.
“Initially there was an emotional response and we were reluctant to say we would release players to the Kings. They banked on the principle that there would be a whole host of Lions players available.
"If we get a specific approach from a player to go to the Kings, we will need to consider it,” Lions acting CEO Ruben Moggee said.
“We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves, why would we, for instance, loan a player to the Cheetahs and not the Kings? I can state to you publicly that neither Cheeky Watson nor any of his members have approached us to loan players and we’ve never denied any players to them.”
The Kings have signed Sharks lock Steven Sykes, Stormers flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis and Cheetahs centre Andries Strauss thus far for their 2013 Super Rugby campaign.