The rushed nature of the tournament revamp has seen its first major logistical hiccup today as two Leinster stars, Isa Nacewa and Jamison Gibson-Park have been denied access to South Africa.
Isa Nacewa and Jamison Gibson-Park encountered what were termed "visa issues" yesterday in Johannesburg, and the pair were sent home.
"Leinster Rugby will be making no further comment on this matter".More news: Syria v Australia to be played in Malaysia
A day hanging around at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg concluded with both players heading back to Ireland, with Leinster's Head of Rugby Operations, Guy Easterby, confirming why the two had been unable to enter the country on Thursday morning.
They did not say whether they would attempt to get visas for the two New Zealanders to travel for that match.
"This was clearly an administrative oversight on our part and a valuable lesson has been learned", said Easterby.More news: Florida Hurricane Irma Evacuee Named Her Newly Delivered Baby 'Storm'
Leinster's frantic bid to obtain the required documentation failed and it was confirmed last night that both players will return home to Dublin, with scrum-half Nick McCarthy now joining the reduced 27-man squad for the Pro14 games against the Kings and Cheetahs.
Leinster will compete in the first PRO14 match in South Africa when they meet the Southern Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday (Sunday NZT).
Cullen's side are looking to maintain their hot start to the season after bonus point wins over the Dragons and Cardiff Blues, but they will be up against a Kings team eager to rebound from their losses in the opening rounds.More news: Mane disagrees with Liverpool legend over red card
- Sammy smashes 16-ball 29 but World XI fall to Pakistan
- Death toll grows on islands devastated by Hurricane Irma
- Australia Jobless Rate Holds Steady At 5
- Don't jail me, pleads sexting congressman Anthony Weiner
- Buyers beware: Storm-damaged vehicles headed for used auto market
- Nintendo Classic Mini: NES - La console revient en 2018
- University investigates possible hazing in student death
- Rapid Climatic change brings sad news for coffee lovers
- AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV) Hits 'Overbought' As Indicated by Its RSI(14)
- Google hit with class action lawsuit over gender pay