SA Rugby have confirmed that a liquidation application has been brought against EP Rugby (Pty) Ltd, threatening the union's participation in the Currie Cup.
SA Rugby confirmed the news on Thursday but insisted that the operations and participation of the Southern Kings in Super Rugby would be unaffected by an application.
The action was brought by the South African Rugby Players’ Association (SARPA) on behalf of a number of players over unpaid salaries. The application was triggered by what SARPA described as the recent "preferential treatment of creditors" by EP Rugby (Pty) Ltd.
"This action has no implications for the preparations or participation of the Southern Kings in Vodacom Super Rugby," said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
"That entity is wholly owned by the South African Rugby Union and the players, coaches and management team will continue with their work as has been planned. They kick off against the Cell C Sharks at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on 27 February and that, and the rest of their fixtures, are unaffected."
Roux said that the court action could have implications for domestic rugby in the Eastern Province however.
"There will be questions about what this means for the EP Kings in the Currie Cup and for the administration of amateur rugby in the Eastern Province," said Roux.
"We have also been asked if SA Rugby will be ‘taking over’.
"Constitutionally, SA Rugby can only become involved in the administration of a union if it is invited in, or if a union fails to put in place recommended corrective measures.
"But, in the first instance, the Eastern Province Rugby Union, as the sole shareholder in EP Rugby (Pty) Ltd, will have to address the court action before anything else can happen."