Saru denies Kings request

Saru has turned down the Southern King’s request to include five foreigners in their Super Rugby squad.

At the beginning of January, the Kings named a 40-man squad including five foreigners. Kings officials were, at that point, adamant that Saru would bend the rules and allow South Africa’s newest franchise to field all five players.

But according to Rapport, Saru has officially turned down the Kings’ request, and they will only be allowed to play two foreigners in the coming Super Rugby competition.

The foreign recruits are Tomas Leonardi and Nicolas Vergallo (both Argentina), Daniel Adongo (Kenya), Virgile Lacombe (France) and Hadleigh Parkes (New Zealand). It is believed Adongo is considering taking out South African citizenship.

Kings president Cheeky Watson said that the Eastern Cape franchise had not been officially informed about Saru’s decision.

‘If this is the case, we will accept and abide by the decision of SA Rugby. We know that the region has never been fed with a silver spoon, and have no reason to expect any different going into our debut Super Rugby season,’ Watson said.

‘The path for this region to get a Super Rugby franchise has been fraught with challenges, and yet, despite all the odds, we have overcome them and Super Rugby is a reality, with our first game against Western Force less than a month away.

‘We accept that this opportunity comes from a loaded deck of cards, but the bigger the challenge, the bigger the task, the bigger the team and the overall success.

‘We will not be releasing any of our foreign players, however, as there are still ample opportunities within our structures for them to contribute.’