RUGBY bosses will bend the rules and allow the Southern Kings to field six foreign players when they make their debut in Super Rugby next year.
A rugby insider said yesterday that the Kings would definitely be given the green light to field six overseas players when they play their first match against the Western Force in Port Elizabeth on February 23.
While the current rules state that teams may only use two foreigners, it is expected that the Kings' application to use more will be approved when Sanzar meets next month. Several of the new players the Kings are bidding to sign are from Argentina.
"I hope to announce the signing of three or even five new players this week," said Kings president Cheeky Watson.
"First choice is obviously a South African born and bred player and we're going to reassess the situation as we go along."
The Kings have also released a statement which explains that they are struggling to get players to sign with them as they are "contracting in an abnormal environment".
Some of the Kings's reasons are:
- The European window period for recruiting players being closed (with the only available players being those out of contracts); interested South African players are only available in May;
- The delayed announcement has seen many local players whose contracts expired this year renew their contracts;
- The Lions refusing to entertain a request to loan the Kings players; and
- The team's one-year entry into Super Rugby without a track record.