The Southern Kings appear to have given up on their pursuit of foreign imports, while also confirming that they are in talks with another Springbok.
Cheeky Watson, Chairman of the Southern Kings, confirmed that they re in negotiations with Springbok centre Waylon Murray and veteran prop Ross Geldenhuys.
“We are still busy talking to both players,” Watson told this website, when asked about reports that both Murray and Geldenhuys are on their way to Port Elizabeth.
He added that they are not talking to any other players at present, but are still looking to add some depth to their squad.
However, they are likely to give up on the idea of convincing the South African Rugby Union to allow them more than the regulation quota of two foreign signings.
The Kings already have Argentinean scrumhalf Nicolas Vergallo and New Zealand utility back Hadleigh Parkes (Blues) on their books.
“I don’t think we’ll need it,” the Kings boss said, when asked if they are still talking to SARU about increasing it beyond two overseas players.
“That’s where we are at the moment,” Watson said if reference to Vergallo and Parkes.
He added that they are “pretty close” to where they want to be in terms of recruitment.
“Just another three or four, then we are there,” Watson said, adding: “We are looking generally across the squad – just adding a bit more depth.”
Confirmation that they are close to signing Murray – who is off contract at the Lions and played three Tests for the Boks in 2007 – and Geldenhuys (who was on a short-term deal with the Cheetahs), means the Kings have now made eight high-profile signings.
Murray’s Lions teammate and fellow Bok Bandise Maku was the most recent to put pen to paper.
Other notable recent signings from the Kings include centre Andries Strauss (Cheetahs), flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis (WP), scrumhalf Nicolas Vergallo (Argentina), utility back Hadleigh Parkes (Blues) and lock Steven Sykes (Sharks).
* Meanwhile the Kings confirmed that Willem Oliphant has been officially named as the franchise’s team manager for the 2013 Super Rugby season.
Oliphant has been part of the SARU structures as team manager for the SA Under-20 teams over the past few years and was also team manager of the SA U20 team that earlier this year won the IRB World Junior Championships in Cape Town.