Southern Kings recall two overseas players
March 21, 2013
The Kings lined up against Lelia Masaga and the Chiefs with too many overseas players © Getty Images
The Southern Kings have recalled an Argentine and a French player from their touring squad in New Zealand as the South African Rugby Union (SARU) investigates the Super 15 newcomers for breaking its rules on foreign players.
Kings president Cheeky Watson has travelled to New Zealand to talk to the players after SARU officials threatened the team with a caution, a fine, a suspension or even expulsion in its debut Super Rugby season if found guilty of fielding too many foreigners in a game against the Chiefs last week.
But 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. Peters' statement leaves the Kings facing a warning or a fine of up to 1 million rand ($A105,000). "[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, the chief executive of Super 15 organiser SANZAR, tweeted.
Leonardi, fellow Argentine Nicolas Vergallo and New Zealander Hadleigh Parkes were in the Kings' matchday squad for the home loss to the Chiefs in round five, and all played some part in the game. South African teams are allowed to play only two foreign players per game, according to contracts they sign with the national union.
The Kings play seven-time Super Rugby champions the Crusaders - the competition's most successful team - on Saturday.
SARU chief executive Jurie Roux has told South African media he hopes the investigation will be concluded next week.
The Kings showed great tenacity against the Chiefs in Port Elizabeth
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength