Cape Town - The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has established an investigation into a suspected breach of its Super Rugby participation agreement by the Kings. Jurie Roux
, CEO of SARU, contacted Cheeky Watson, the chairperson of the Kings board, on Tuesday to advise him of the inquiry and also to caution him against any potential breaches.
The matter was discussed by an emergency teleconference of the Executive Council (EXCO) of SARU on Tuesday. The EXCO, in accordance with the SARU disciplinary and judicial regulations, decided to appoint a judicial sub-committee to investigate the allegation.
In the event of a breach being proved there is a wide range of sanctions available, starting from a caution to a maximum fine of R1m or a recommendation to the general council to suspend or expel the offending organisation.
This comes after the Kings fielded three foreign players
in their 35-24 Super Rugby loss to the Chiefs last Friday.
Captain Darron Nell was injured in the warm-up prior to the game, which saw Argentine loose forward Tomás Leonardi join countryman Nicolas Vergallo on the bench. New Zealander Hadleigh Parkes started at inside centre, which meant the Kings fielded three foreign players in their squad - one more than the two allowed by SARU.
Leonardi was on the field from the 23rd to the 32nd minute as a replacement, and again from the 58th minute onwards, while scrumhalf Vergallo came on in 79th minute. Parkes was substituted in the 72nd minute.
Two other players, prop Jaco Engels
(Namibia) and forward Daniel Adongo (Kenya), also came off the bench but are not considered foreigners, as players from the African continent are not regarded as foreign players, according to SARU policy
All five were also 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).Kings' squad for their Australasian tour:
Darron Nell (calf), SP Marais (knee) and Luke Watson
(throat) stayed behind due to injuries.
Strauss, Bandise Maku
, Cornell du Preez, Daniel Adongo, David Bulbring,
, 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