DISGRUNTLED French hooker Virgile Lacombe looks set to quit the Southern Kings only months after he joined the rookie Super Rugby franchise from top club Toulouse.
A ruling by South African rugby bosses that the Kings may field only two foreign players meant Lacombe was hurriedly flown back to Port Elizabeth last week from his adopted team’s New Zealand tour.
Lacombe has now revealed he may look to escape his deal at the Kings, admitting he is “tired” of the situation at the side.
“I’m a little tired,” Lacombe told a TV sports show. “I want things to be clear. I need a quick answer. I came to play Super Rugby, not to make money or anything.
“I broke my contract with Toulouse, which was not finished. I made sacrifices to come and in the end, the only reason I came is not respected. I’ll try to get a deadline early next week whether or not the bosses can put four foreigners in a side. If they cannot, I think I’ll try to break my contract.”
Southern Kings boss Cheeky Watson said he had not heard anything from Lacombe about his contract. “I met with Virgile and Tomas Leonardi yesterday, following my return to South Africa from New Zealand,” Watson said.
“I wanted to speak to them about the situation that has arisen following the inquiry launched by SA Rugby. I can fully understand the unhappiness regarding the situation. But we have not spoken about their contracts,” he said.
Watson said that if what was reported in the media was the case, it was Lacombe’s democratic right to ask to opt out of his contract.
“However, no such request has been made,” he said.
Lacombe was one of four foreign players who flew to New Zealand with the Kings team earlier this month for a four-match overseas tour. The other players were Hadleigh Parkes (New Zealand), Nicholas Vergallo and Thomas Leonardi (both Argentina),
After the SA Rugby ruling on foreigners, the Kings decided to fly Lacombe and Leonardi back to South Africa. It had been thought that Lacombe would stay on to play for the EP Kings in the Vodacom Cup, but it seems he is only interested in playing top-flight Super Rugby.
The team’s first-choice hooker is Bandise Maku, while they can also use Edgar Marutlulle and Hannes Franklin.
The Kings are in New Zealand preparing for Saturday’s Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes.