Kings send foreign duo home

2013-03-20 18:00

Cape Town - Eastern Province Rugby president Cheeky Watson has confirmed that the Kings have sent two foreign players back home from their Australasian tour.

A statement released to the media on Wednesday confirmed that Argentine Tomas Leonardi and Frenchman Virgile Lacombe will return to Port Elizabeth and be replaced by Edgar Marutlulle and Devin Oosthuizen.

This comes after SARU on Tuesday launched an investigation into a suspected breach of its Super Rugby participation agreement by the Kings. 

Watson on Wednesday boarded a plane for New Zealand to address the Kings touring squad following SARU's announcement. Watson, Marutlulle and Oosthuizen are due to arrive in Christchurch on Friday morning.

Leonardi and Lacombe will have already departed to return to Port Elizabeth by the time Watson and the other players arrive. They will now be utilised in Eastern Province's Vodacom Cup squad.

“I think it’s very clear by the last statement that we gave out, we were led to believe that according to the players that we signed, that technically we only have two foreign players within the system,” said Watson.

The Kings were led to believe that the two Argentinian players in their squad (Leonardi and Nicolas Vergallo) would not be regarded as foreign players, as they were already participating under the Vodacom Cup banner as the Pampas XV, in much the same way as Daniel Adongo was exempted for hailing from Africa.

“But, being a provincial member of the South African Rugby Union, which is the governing body, we follow their guidelines on these issues,” said Watson.

So with Leonardi and Lacombe heading back, the only remaining foreign players in the Kings squad are scrumhalf Vergallo and centre Hadleigh Parkes. Forward Adongo and prop Jaco Engels are not viewed as foreign players as they hail from the African continent.

SARU acted on Tuesday after it was established that the 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 loose forward Leonardi join countryman Vergallo on the bench. New Zealander Parkes started at inside centre, which meant the Kings fielded three foreign players in their squad - one more than the two allowed by SARU.

SARU threatened the Kings with sanctions, ranging from a caution to a maximum fine of R1m or a recommendation to the general council to suspend or expel them.

However, Super Rugby chief Greg Peters said on Twitter that SARU did not have the authority to suspend or expel the Kings, as that would affect the whole three-country tournament and only a South African rule had allegedly been broken.

So it therefore leaves the Kings facing a warning or fine.

"That (the suspension or expulsion of the Kings) can only be done by us and it is not our rules that have allegedly been breached," Peters tweeted.

The Kings face the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday (kick-off is at 08:35 SA time).


  • skiapas - 2013-03-20 18:08

    ....very cheeky indeed...

      Johan Lensley - 2013-03-20 21:15

      That joke is apartheid's fault?

  • Sc1pio - 2013-03-20 18:13

    Cheeky should be an ANC minister

      Howard Ware - 2013-03-20 18:22

      Proberly is.......................... under_ cover

      christo.t.ferreira - 2013-03-21 09:52

      @Howard , learn to spell before you make stupid comments. AND study SANZAR rules and you will see Kings are 200% within the laws

      Leaproach TheKeeper - 2013-03-21 12:39

      Cheeky is so far up the ANC's ass his throat will be cut if they should be operated for piles

  • CAPEGTOWN - 2013-03-20 18:16

    Watsons are bad news; watch this space, he will make a bid for SARU presidency.

      Mario Jordaan - 2013-03-20 18:32

      And the end of SA Rugby

      frankgerald - 2013-03-20 21:07

      Long overdue I would say Cheeky Watson should be SARU President atleast he knows the rules and is a genius with balls of steel He is the man that SA rugby might just need who can stand-up against the other SANZAR partners.

      Suidlander van Wyk - 2013-03-20 22:22

      I would be so happy if he goes for it and kick that Durban guy out, he sold us out on this SANZAR nonsense, we should be strongest there but no we are dictated to by NZ and Aus with their 5 teams each, long live King C Watson the great descendant of British

      Johan Lensley - 2013-03-21 07:28

      Don't you mean great desendant of McinKOTCH?

  • Mario Jordaan - 2013-03-20 18:27

    Bloody good. They want and expect everything on a silver platter and feel they are above the rule of law. Not surprised at all as it classic Cheeky after all

      Johan Lensley - 2013-03-21 07:24

      That's part of the Eastern Cape education system... They teach you entitlement 101 from gr2 and tender aquisition from gr4...

  • Louis - 2013-03-20 18:34

    no sense of honour ... dime a dozen

  • pierre.walt - 2013-03-20 18:34

    Unbelievable opportunities given by lies and politics just to be investigated thereafter and nothing to happen. Sounds like ANC at it's best. Cheeky gearing for president by gat kruip.

      Joe Smit - 2013-03-20 18:40

      He certainly has the credentials to fit in. Runs his own agenda!

  • Honest Raymond Makoi - 2013-03-20 18:53

    all of you guys here shouting.... How did the lions or cheetahs or bulls or sharks make it into super rugby.... By a political decision... They did not compete in a winner takes all tournament.... Time others are afforded the same opportunity.. Give me a detailed answer or its proves u are just a load of hot air...

      Frankthetank - 2013-03-20 19:07

      They were the top 5 provinces in the country playing in the premier section of the currie cup. The kings are in the "B section " by virtue of the fact they are not yet good enough as illustrated by their inability to win their promotion/relegation games last year. Very simple really .....

      iwance.wasdere - 2013-03-20 20:14

      Ignorance is no excuse...

      Owentjie - 2013-03-20 21:03

      People call for these regulation matches in Super rugby for the kings based on what goes on in Currie cup. But the reality is, that Currie cup has 4 teams competing for promotion/relagation. I think this route of 4 teams, would have been closer to fair. It would give any small union better leverage on luring or retaining talent.But what is the 2nd division to super rugby? It should be the vodocom cup, not currie cup results that determine who will compete in the relagation matches. I understand why people might be upset, but something had to happen. Be happy for the kings if you are a true south african. There is rugby that runs deep. Albeit they got snuck in by force, the lions had been poor for a while, and this could be exactly what they needed to turn the ship around. A skop op die gat!

      Honest Raymond Makoi - 2013-03-20 21:25

      okay... I am a cheetahs fan through n through but super rugby had 4 teams each before super 15 n then the cats devolved n formed the cheetahs n lions. When did the pumas or griquas get a chance to make it to super rugby all these years.... Well unlike them the kings used all their resources albeit under the table to join the super rugby clubwhich was not open to other south african clubs....

      Nico Prinsloo - 2013-03-21 06:16

      @ Raymond Pumas is part of the Bulls franchise and Griekwas is part of the Cheetah franchise.

  • Christi Stander - 2013-03-20 18:57

    Don't mess with the Dutchmans Cheecky. Learn to respect them. Its not a political party. There is rules and laws in rugby. Follow it!!

      Suidlander van Wyk - 2013-03-20 22:26

      my friend Cheeky is smart enough not to mess with them because they are so messed up on their own,

  • Neville Watson - 2013-03-20 19:05

    As I recall he made a special application for these players to be included (which was rejected). Now he says he was mislead. Watson you lie, you lie, you lie!

  • Derek Raeburn Milne - 2013-03-20 19:20

    So all the "locals" from Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe etc are reading this(probably not!) and thinking, hang on a minute, I'm from Africa therefore I'm not a foreigner??!! Nice try Cheeky, you dumb f%^k!

      Raymond Didiza Grootboom - 2013-03-20 23:18

      Howmany foreign players does the New Zealand and Austrailian teams consist off?

      Morne Nagel - 2013-03-22 09:59

      @Raymond those are Australian and New Zealand rules for their teams. I'm with SARU on this because we have lots of local talent why do you need foreign players? If cheecky wants foreign players then let him go and coach a foreign team. No other SA team breached the SARU rule so why should the Kings? You guys wanted in so stick to the rules.

  • James Pettitt - 2013-03-20 19:43

    The issue with the Kings for me is they went out and talked up a storm about how they should be given a place in super rugby because of their vast local resources. Now they are in and not only do they have 4 foreign players but they are 'ashamed of how white the squad is' and blame the lack of time to buy more players of color to make them something they are not. Buying players is not developing players, and I can understand being off the pace without having players of quality to begin with but don't preech one thing and do another. You just lose all the respect I might have for you.

  • James Pettitt - 2013-03-20 19:43

    The issue with the Kings for me is they went out and talked up a storm about how they should be given a place in super rugby because of their vast local resources. Now they are in and not only do they have 4 foreign players but they are 'ashamed of how white the squad is' and blame the lack of time to buy more players of color to make them something they are not. Buying players is not developing players, and I can understand being off the pace without having players of quality to begin with but don't preech one thing and do another. You just lose all the respect I might have for you.

      Hanjo - 2013-03-21 00:14

      James wants the Kings to put local talent and transformation ahead of competitiveness. It's really a win/win for him. Pick a good team and we complain about how local, black and foreign the players are, pick a local black amateur team and we have a laugh when you lose. James, snap out of it. There is a vast amount of rugby talent in the Kings region, this talent can be nurtured and developed into quality players, however the Kings were included into super rugby in mid August 2012, less than 6 months away from the start of the tournament, now I do not wish to question your intelligence but how do you expect any team to turn the raw talent that the region produces into Super rugby competitors in 6 months? The obvious and only approach was to buy the necessary experience and exposed talent, unfortunately the 6 months hindered this process too, so did the fact that the Kings only had one year of definite super rugby inclusion to promise. The fact that the Kings now have an academy in place, they have a super rugby franchise, they have exposed youngsters in the area and they have much improved facilities will have a long impact on the raw talent that the region produces, it will open a door for the kings to develop a local competitive team and that was always what they claimed to be able to deliver, not a miracle.

      James Pettitt - 2013-03-21 01:09

      Hanjo I completely understand that and am one of the few people that does point it out to others. Even though I'm an upset lions fan. I'll be the first to say that you need a team that can be competitive for you to put a system in place to grow talent in the region. What I am questioning is the board that seems to think themselves above reproach and are able to get away with more than other unions. This is a more than just a biased opinion, I'm sure you will agree if you look at it objectively. I lose respect to those who try to cover up and make excuses. The kings were dealt a tough call but never the less they were granted super rugby even though they were just in the 2nd division of currie cup. If the kings had come uo into the premier divion and then saru stated that the bottom team at the end of the season would be either regulated or face a play off there would be far less to no outcry by the rest of SA. The players of the union have done well. I'm not critising them, i'm critising the administration for painting the kings in a bad light and thereby making an entity hard to support. If the kings had gotten in on merit I for one woul support them even if they did knock the lions out legitimitly. There is no need to question my intelligence or make it personal. It is just the opinion I have, and you are welcome to disagree with me but I'm sure there are others that feel the same as I do. Deosn't make me right or wrong.

      akaRags - 2013-03-21 04:34

      @Hanjo - fair enough six months is not much time to get a Super team together, but Cheeky had been pushing for them to get into Super rugby for a couple of years, - so when the region started looking for Super rugby status, why did they not make more of a concerted effort to build up a stronger team at least capable of getting into the Currie Cup? I reckon the Griquas would have been better contenders for Super rugby.... Yes, it was great to see their win over the Force, albeit against one of the lower ranked Super teams, but they were playing for their home crowd and to prove everyone wrong - they lost the next two, sure they didn't go down without a fight, and why would they, they want to compete and that's great to see, but next game Crusaders in Christchuch, - and it is NEVER easy to beat that team on their home ground, I think they are in for a thorough super rugby lesson by the Saders...... That all said, they've wanted to play Super rugby for a couple of years, - time to play with the big guns now......

  • frankgerald - 2013-03-20 19:52

    SARU you are big Bullies who does not know the rules. It is now more than clear that the Kings has been set-up to fail. Luckily the Kings has already proven that they will not surrender or bow-down to the pressure put on them. The can do and say whatever they will but the Kings will prevail against the odds. Go Kings go...allways behind you all the way! - 2013-03-20 20:24

      @frank. They're jealous cause the Kings are doing so well. Go Kings .

      frankgerald - 2013-03-20 20:54

      Yes they are because they expected the Kings to loose between 30 to 100 Points every match but the Kings has proven them wrong each time.

      Johan Lensley - 2013-03-20 21:35

      Frank, you are delusional!!! So by refusing them special treatment, they are set-up to fail.. Because SARU repremand the kings for deliberately breaking the laid down rules, they setting them up to fail? They gave a section division side, free access to superrugby, without qualification and you cry like a lil b1tch? Cheeky Watson is the Julius Malema of rugby and you seem to be one of the naïve minions of the EP youth-league... You can't be that stupid to believe the nonsense... Unless you have a link to Cheeky! So many SA people can't all be wrong! No one is setting the Kings up to fail... The Kings are to busy with games and trying to rock the boat... That has always been Cheeky's agenda and one day everyone will see Cheeky for his main purpose, to destabalise SA rugby!

      Sean Brady - 2013-03-20 22:14

      The Kings have 4 points from three home games! That is not "doing so well"!

      Hanjo - 2013-03-21 00:00

      It is not special treatment. Wish people would educate themselves on the issue before commenting. Or perhaps stop spreading their bias propaganda and for once just objectively consider what happened. Giving a new developmental side the right to field an extra foreign player or two is almost the norm. Hell, the Rebels were afforded 10 in their first season. How much less time did the Kings have to prepare a team, how much less interest from players would they have gathered seeing that they only have one definite year in super rugby to promise? They had 6 months to put a team together, denying them a few extra foreign players is just illogical and ignores the reality that most players are contracted and ignores the very real risk involved with joining a possible temporary included team.

      Hilton Hasson - 2013-03-21 00:40

      Hanjo - what are you going on about ?? 'Giving a new developmental side the right to field an extra foreign player or two is almost the norm. Hell, the Rebels were afforded 10 in their first season. ' The Rebels fall under the ARU - in case you didn't know - and under those regulations the Rebels were ALLOWED to contract 10 foreign players because they were blocked from poaching players from the other 4 x Aus Superrugby teams. The Kings fall under SARU - and the 2 x foreign player rule applies to SA teams only. The Kings knew that when they accepted their place in the tournament - but you obviously didn't know the difference between the 2 countries' regulations or else you wouldn't started your rant with ' Wish people would educate themselves on the issue before commenting '

      BLUESILVER2012 - 2013-03-21 04:41

      Frank, you a card carrying member of the ANC by chance? You acting JUST like the ANC/Cheeky does when the rules don't play in your favour, you either TRY to change the rules or plead ignorance. In the end it has NOTHING to do with their ability as a team to do the job, it's Cheeky's need to ALWAYS play the race card and bring politics into Rugby, he's a Political BULLY and has NO place in SA rugby.

      akaRags - 2013-03-21 08:56

      Well, I do wonder how they will prevail against the Crusdaders in Christchurch.......... As for the Kings doing "so well" - what is so well? Yes, they fought hard to get a win over the Western Force, albeit one of the weaker Super teams currently, in their first ever game and good for them, in front of their home crowd and they proved their critics wrong. They then lost to the Sharks, but had the Sharks played better, like we know they can do, it would have been a bigger loss .for the Kings, and third game down to the Chiefs and a more convincing win from the Chiefs than the Sharks - sure, they didn't give up easily but that is far from doing "so well"........... They have got a long way to go, before they do "so well"!

  • Sidwell H - 2013-03-20 20:03

    Everyone pointing at Cheeky Watson as if he is so evil. What if he was misled by SARU deliberately? We were not privi to most of what happens there at SARU or behind closed doors.

      Suidlander van Wyk - 2013-03-20 22:29

      adrian the talent is up in your a*&^ you moron

      Karsten Kaminski - 2013-03-21 01:09

      Yeah I can see how SARU deliberately misled Cheeky into believing that Argentinians and French players are not foreign. Come on their countries are only at opposite sides of the globe, Martians are foreigners.

      Paul Sdoow - 2013-03-21 12:48

      how they mislead him ? did they whisper in his ear hey cheeky field foreign players as you wish we won't tell the other unions ! ya right he knows the rules and limitations but he thought parliament would jump in this time too !

  • Richard Prowse - 2013-03-20 20:05

    u oue's slat him coz he tunes SARU, in the same way U ALL wish u could be that person, he knows hOw to play 'their' game, thats why they hate him , and u lot 2 GO CHEEkY

  • Albert Els - 2013-03-20 20:13

    Wait for the strike

  • Jesus - 2013-03-20 23:01

    Surely if its not a sanzar ruling to field more than two foreign players in your squad you may then field your Argentinian and your French players then? Just a question

      Hanjo - 2013-03-20 23:40

      It's rather silly because some teams have been afforded more foreign players in recent years while the Kings were denied, even though they are playing in their first season of Super rugby.

      Jess Cheung - 2013-03-21 05:04

      Hanjo, could you enlighten me as to who these teams were?

      Johan Lensley - 2013-03-21 07:14

      @Jess, he is reffering to the Force and Rebels. There are no rules for Aus and NZ teams but SARU has always had a rule of 2 foreign players per SA team and it has never been broken untill the first season with the Kings. They appealed to SARU to grant them more foreign players but SARU stood firm in their stance that SA teams should harvest SA talent. No matter what the excuse, they where never under any illusion that SARU, as the governing body of the SA franchises, will not allow more that 2 foreign players in a squad. They have to stick to that or face the wrath of their masters... As Cheeky has now shown, he understands that he is not in control here!!!

  • Craig Deetlefs - 2013-03-21 00:02

    B C q

  • Jess Cheung - 2013-03-21 05:01

    First let me say that I believe the idea of the Kings is amazing. Fostering the talent coming through the EC is great! That said, the way they have handled it is appalling. Forcing their way in to the competition and then complaining that they have no support from from the nation or Saru is infantile. If they could not field a team that "represents their location" racially or any other way, then they should have not been campaigning for a spot in the competition YET. They should have said that they want entry in 2016 an continued to build their team towards that goal. Understandably they may have lost some players to bigger unions in the process but realistically that would have happened anyway. I sympathize with the team themselves as they have done nothing wrong and are actually doing a great job but their management, like SARU, needs to have a rethink.

      Mike Suter - 2013-03-21 21:32

      Fostering what talent Jess ???? How many locals are playing ???/

  • Lomies - 2013-03-21 06:29

    Once a cheat, always a cheat...

  • Beverley Uys - 2013-03-21 06:39

    Now we know where puke gets his arrogance from. A...holes

      Suidlander van Wyk - 2013-03-21 07:30

      he gets it from a great and proud British descendant and that's something you are not and never will be

  • Stefan Erasmus - 2013-03-21 08:14

    Nice one Cheeky girls. Now do the Cheeky song.

  • Wonder Mlandzeni Ka Ntila - 2013-03-21 08:18

    The Watson are a great benefit to the game of Rugby, wish there were more like them. SARU is trying all they can to see Kings failing and I pray their wishes fail to materialize.

      Will Husselmann - 2013-03-21 09:38

      You are so right and usually it is the failures that can t wait to see someone else fails. Think they get some perverted pleasure from that. Kings were a revelation this season and have my full support. 1oo% for never giving up.

  • Will Husselmann - 2013-03-21 09:33

    A few ex pampas players will hardly make a huge difference. The Pampas are actually participating in the Vodacom cup since last year , which makes them local players for now. Saru is thinking with their asses and should attempt to help the Kings to compete which will definitely lead to huge development of the local talent in the Eastern Cape.This guys with the limited resources are doing better than most of the newcomers to Superrugby. They never give up trying and is one of the most spirited outfits that you can find. I wish them only the best. In Australia and Kiwiland the nation will stand like one man behind all their teams. In South Africa you always get these negative people that can not bear to see the sun shine over their neighbours. They must be so terribly unhappy with themselves. I guess they would always be found here in South Africa . Lets have a minute of silense for the poor unhappy blighters. Their wives must have a terrible time with them.

  • herman.burger.5 - 2013-03-21 09:45

    Cheety Watson!

      Mike Suter - 2013-03-21 21:33

      Ag no man . U need to give better than that Herman.

  • Zuko Mrwetyana - 2013-03-21 12:52

    Imoto ehambayo izinja ziyayikonkotha,emileyo ziyayichamela,Go Kings...go kings go kings...!!

  • Cecil Wright - 2013-03-21 15:12

    This idiot is obviously a fully paid up ANC member and has learnt to sprout the the same drivel and worse still, believe the rubbish he is speaking

      Suidlander van Wyk - 2013-03-21 16:37

      just like you are FF or rather national party idiot who thinks he knows what you talking about. great grand son of Chaplin says to you sit down

  • Kevin Day - 2013-03-21 18:24

    So Cheeky now has to fly to NZ to explain to the Team why he is sending back 2 non-SA players and sending 2 new SA players to join the squad? Are the Team so dumb they have to have him there to explain? Lots of additional expense, Cheeky. Had 2 experiences with the man in the past few years, he thinks he's far more special than he really is.

      Mike Suter - 2013-03-21 21:30

      Bet its all 1st class Kevin...

  • Mike Suter - 2013-03-21 21:26

    Ja Cheeky . Back track on Ur self. This is why the average SA Rugga Fan does not support the Kings . I was one of them and was changing my mind because of the Player and Coach commitment . But then U as the CEO have to go and try pull sneaky moves again . And then ruin all the hard work done by the whole team . It seems that U only pulled the foreigners back to PE after U were threatened with a R1 000 000.00 fine . As usual Cheeky , money is all U are interested in . I had great respect for U back in the day Cheeky . I played club rugby in Glencoe back in the 80s and was Captain of the 2nd team . ( Whites only ) We were approached by one of the local coal mines who had a black team and wanted to play the local clubs . Out of 9 clubs I and my team made the decision to play them . A HUGE THING BACK THEN . I was happy and proud to lead my men onto the pitch that Saturday . I and the white guys who agreed to play that day have never been made famous ( Like U ) BUT WE DID OUR BIT .

  • pages:
  • 1