Southern Kings President Cheeky Watson is confident that he can persuade the South African Rugby Union to allow them to field at least four foreign players in their Super Rugby squad.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) say that they have immediate plans to change a ruling for all South African Super Rugby franchises which limits the number of foreign players to just two.
The Kings have named a 40 strong provisional Super Rugby squad which includes five foreigners.
"The matter is still being debated by SA Rugby but I am hopeful that we will be given clearance to play four foreign players," Watson told BDlive.
The Kings were formed to develop black rugby talent in the Eastern Cape but Watson has repeatedly said that developing talent will take time so the franchise needs to field foreigners players in the interim.
The Southern Kings foreign players already on contract are Tomas Leonardi and Nicolas Vergallo (both Argentina), Daniel Adongo (Kenya), Virgile Lacombe (France) and Hadleigh Parkes (New Zealand). It is however believed Kenyan Adongo is considering taking up South African citizenship.
Watson plans to get SARU to allow them to field four foreigners and if Adongo becomes South Africa the Kings can field all five players.
However SARugby have no plans at all to change the ruling.
"Nothing has changed on the ruling made last year and at this stage nothing is expected to change," Saru spokesman Andy Colquhoun said.
The Southern Kings replaced the Lions for the 2013 Super Rugby season and in order for them to remain in the tournament they will have to avoid finishing last in the South African teams but if they do they will have to beat the Lions on a home and away basis.
The Kings were only given a gaurantee of Super Rugby for one year and it seems that even SARU expect them to struggle this year as provisional dates for the promotion/relegation matches have been released and both matches are before the end of the Super Rugby season.
The matches have been scheduled for July the 27th (Venue TBC) and the 3rd of August at Ellis Park.
The Super Rugby final is also on the 3rd of August so it appears that the powers that be in South African rugby are banking on the Kings not making the finals.