The Southern Kings announced their reduced, 35-man squad for their Super Rugby campaign which still contains 5 foreign players.
The tug-of-war between the Kings and SARU on the number of foreign based players allowed for the franchise has been going since 2012.
The Kings, who only has a 1-year guaranteed deal for participation in Super Rugby (from where a promotion/relegation match will determine the line up for 2014) has argued that in order for them to be competitive SA Rugby needs to make a concession to allow them more foreign players than the current maximum of two allowed per franchise.
SA Rugby in turn has stood by the standard protocol which applies to all franchises which has now seemingly resulted in a Mexican stand-off between the Kings and the governing body.
By announcing their 35-man squad containing 5 foreign based players, the Kings have sent a clear message to SARU that they are not about to budge and that the call is now firmly in SARU’s court.
Should SARU decide not to accept the Kings squad things could get really ugly for both parties a mere two weeks out before the South African conference kicks off.
Now, we wait with bated breath on SARU’s response…
Southern Kings Super Rugby 35 player squad
|Schalk Ferrreira||Shaun Venter|
|Jaco Engels||Johan Herbst|
|Hannes Franklin||Nicolas Vergallo|
|Virgile Lacombe||Demetri Catrakillis|
|Bandise Maku||George Whitehead|
|Edgar Marutlulle||Andries Strauss|
|Kevin Buys||Hadleigh Parkes|
|Grant Kemp||Ronnie Cooke|
|Steven Sykes||Waylon Murray|
|David Bullbring||Michael Killian|
|Darron Nell||Sergeal Petersen|
|Rynier Bernardo||Marcello Sampson|
|Daniel Adongo||Siyanda Grey|
|Wimpie van der Walt||SP Marais|
|Mpho Mbiyozo||Elric van Vuuren|
|Cornell du Preez|
|Luke Watson (Captain)|
Kings Statement on squad and 5 foreign players
Following the announcement of the wider squad of 35 players earlier today, there have been a number of media queries relating to the fact that all five foreign players are still listed in the squad.
Please note the following, to be attributed to Eastern Province Rugby President, Cheeky Watson.
The squad announced today is the wider squad that has been requested by SANZAR, and which had to be submitted to them ahead of the official start of the season, in line with their tournament rules and regulations.
This squad could be reduced further in due course.
It is not often that I get a warm, fuzzy feeling when I read something about administration in South African rugby, but the guts and determination of the Golden Lions Rugby Union who is arguably facing their biggest crisis in their 100+ year history is something that deserves more than just an honourable mention.