Vodacom Super Rugby
New twist in Kings saga
Cheeky Watson (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - A new twist has developed in the saga over the number of foreign players the Kings are allowed to pick in their Super Rugby squad.
Five foreigners - Daniel Adongo, Jaco Engels, Nicolas Vergallo, Tomas Leonardi and Virgile Lacombe - were included in the Kings' squad for their current Australasian tour, which starts with a clash against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday (kick-off is at 08:35 SA time).
Earlier media reports indicated that SARU policy
allows Adongo (Kenya) and Engels (Namibia) to play as "local" players as they are from the African continent.
However, according to Die Burger
, there seems to be a misunderstanding between the Kings and SARU about which players may be utilised.
Kings president Cheeky Watson on Monday denied that SARU has sent out any request to them to explain the scenario.
"We closely followed the media reports and I just want to state that we have not received any official announcement or request from SARU regarding the matter.
"We can only respond once we get that. In the meantime I just want to make it clear that we are a disciplined member of SARU and we will remain exactly that.
"We are not deliberately trying to go against them, but we do feel that the interpretation of the term 'foreign players' is open for debate," said Watson.
However, despite Watson's remarks, an informed source at Die Burger
revealed that SARU has already given the Kings permission to utilise their Argentinian players, Vergallo and Leonardi. Both players have work permits, which SARU reportedly approved.
It is well-known that the International Rugby Board (IRB) and SARU want to improve rugby in Argentina, with evidence of that being the Pampas XV currently playing in the Vodacom Cup competition.
Therefore it appears as though only Parkes (New Zealand) and Lacombe (France) are considered to be foreign players in the Kings squad which explains why SARU is yet to act in any way regarding the matter.
A SARU spokesperson did, however, confirm that a press release regarding the matter will be released in due course.Kings' squad for their Australasian tour:
Darron Nell (calf), SP Marais (knee) and Luke Watson (throat) stayed behind due to injuries.
Andries Strauss, Bandise Maku, Cornell du Preez, Daniel Adongo, David Bulbring, Demetri Catrakilis, Elric van Vuuren, George Whitehead, Grant Kemp, Hadleigh Parkes, Jaco Engels, Vleis Engelbrecht, Hannes Franklin, Kevin Buys, Marcello Sampson, Nicolas Vergallo, Ronnie Cooke, Rynier Bernardo, Schalk Ferreira, Sergeal Petersen, Shaun Venter, Steven Sykes, Tomas Leonardi, Virgile Lacombe, Waylon Murray, Wimpie van der Walt