Kings still hoping for foreign favour

The Southern Kings are still hoping that Saru will accommodate their foreign player situation next season.

A fortnight ago, the Kings announced the signings of Argentina and Toulouse scrumhalf Nicolas Vergallo and Blues utility back Hadleigh Parkes. The EP Kings already have Samoan wing Paul Perez and Kiwi prop Clint Newland in their domestic squad, who will also be available for the franchise in 2013.

The Kings made these deals despite the regulations stating that all local teams only have two foreign players in their final Super Rugby squads.

At the time, the Kings had sent a request to Saru for these restrictions to be lifted. The Melbourne Rebels were allowed 10 international imports for their first season in 2010.

The Eastern Cape franchise argued that because of Saru’s delayed announcement of their tournament status in August, they were prevented the chance from signing experienced South African players earlier in the year. The Kings stressed that their four foreign players will help them be competitive during their debut Super Rugby campaign next season.

However, Saru declined this request a week later.

This leaves the Kings in a difficult situation as all four players will be expecting to play Super Rugby. Kings president Cheeky Watson confirmed that negotiations with Saru are still ongoing.

‘It’s a tricky situation. We are still holding talks with Saru about it,’ Watson told keo.co.za. ‘We are hoping that they’ll be able to accommodate our situation.’

By Gareth Duncan