SARU have turned down the Kings’ request to include more than two foreign players in their Super Rugby squad.
Earlier this year, the Eastern Cape franchise named a 40-man squad including five foreigners (French hooker Virgil Lacombe, Argentinean duo Nicolas Vergallo and Tomas Leonardi, New Zealand full-back Hadleigh Parkes and Kenyan utility forward Daniel Adongo).
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 have rejected the Kings’ request – meaning the tournament newbies will now only be allowed to play two foreigners in the upcoming competition
“We will accept and abide by the decision of SA Rugby,” said Kings president Cheeky Watson.
“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
“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.”