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    Kings exploit import loophole

    2013-03-12 16:36
    Cape Town - Eyebrows were raised when the Kings played four foreign imports against the Sharks last weekend, however they were not in breach of SARU's rules, according to the Rugby365 website.

    VIDEO: Supporters fight at the Kings v Sharks Super Rugby match

    Much has been made this season of how the Kings asked the South African Rugby Union (SARU) to allow them to use more than the two allowed foreign players in this year's Super Rugby competition.

    Despite their unsuccessful appeal, four foreign nationals took to the field against the Sharks: Hadleigh Parkes (New Zealand), Nicolas Vergallo (Argentina), Daniel Adongo (Kenya) and Jaco Engels (Namibia).

    However, players from the African continent are not regarded as foreign players, according to SARU policy.

    Players from Namibia - such as Jaco Engels, Jacques Burger, Rohan Kitshoff and Kees Lensing - have been plying their trade in Super Rugby for years without being regarded as foreign players.

    Many Zimbabweans have also played for South African franchises in recent years, such as Brian Mujati, Tonderai Chavhanga and Tendai Mtawarira, who all became Springboks.

    They played Currie Cup and Super Rugby, but were not subject to the same restrictions as players from other continents, such as Carlos Spencer (Lions), Jebb Sinclair (Stormers), Tony Brown (Sharks and Stormers), Andy Goode, Gregor Townsend, Juan Martín Hernández, Freddie Michalak and Thierry Lacroix (all Sharks) among others, who have played for South African Super Rugby franchises over the years.

    Adongo, the Kings' Kenya-born lock-cum-flank, was previously with the Bulls and the Sharks and he has also enjoyed the same freedom as the other African players.

    The Kings' other foreign imports are Virgil Lacombe (France) and Tomas Leonardi (Argentina), who will be playing no part in the Kings' 2013 Super Rugby campaign, but will form part of the EP Kings' Vodacom Cup squad.

    The Kings opened their 2013 Super Rugby campaign with a 22-10 victory over the Force, but lost 21-12 to the Sharks in their second match.

    The Kings currently lie third in the South African Conference and seventh in the Overall standings.

    HAVE YOUR SAY: Have the Kings exploited a loophole in the SARU's ruling? If so, good for them, or are they making a mockery of the situation? Send your thoughts to Sport24.

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