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Southern KingsThe 3rd Article in the set discussing the Southern Kings.

In this Article we look at the contenders for LOCKS in the Southern Kings 2013 Super Rugby group, and what their worth will be in Super Rugby terms.




The Contenders:

Name: Steven Robert (Steven) Sykes:

Position Lock
Height 1.98
Weight 114
Date of Birth 5 August 1984
Place of Birth Middelburg, Eastern Cape
Provincial Debut 2005 for the Sharks
Provincial Caps 95
Provincial Points 30
Super Rugby Debut 2007 for the Sharks
Super Rugby Caps 69
Super Rugby Points 45
Test Debut 2009 vs British & Irish Lions
Test Caps 1
Test Points 0
Steven Sykes

Sykes began his career with the Natal Sharks in 2005 and also played for the Sharks Super Rugby team from 2007.

Starting in the 2011/12 season, he signed a three year deal to play with Leinster in the RaboDirect Pro12 and the Heineken Cup. However, he was released from the deal after only 4 appearances and returned on a one year contract with Sharks.

He joined the Kings for the 2013 Super Rugby season on a two-year deal.

He has been a part of the Emerging Springboks team and played for them during their 13–13 draw against the British and Irish Lions on their 2009 tour to South Africa.

Rugby Career

  • 2012: Sharks (Vodacom Super Rugby), Sharks (Currie Cup)
  • 2011: Sharks (Vodacom Super Rugby)
  • 2010: Sharks (Vodacom Super 14), Sharks (Currie Cup)
  • 2009: Sharks (MTN test), Sharks (Super 14), Springboks (British & Irish Lions tour), Sharks (British & Irish Lions Tour), Emerging Springboks (British & Irish Lions Tour), Sharks (Currie Cup)
  • 2008: Sharks (Super 14), Wildebeest (Vodacom Cup), Sharks (Currie Cup)
  • 2007: Sharks (Super 14), Wildebeest (Vodacom Cup), Sharks (Currie Cup)
  • 2006: Wildebeest (Vodacom Cup), Sharks (Currie Cup)
  • 2005: Wildebeest (Vodacom Cup), Sharks (Currie Cup Qualifying Round), Natal (ABSA Under 21 Competition), Sharks (Currie Cup)
  • 2004: Wildebeest (Vodacom Cup), Natal (ABSA Under 20 Competition)
  • 2003: South Africa Under 19 (IRB FIRA-AER Under 19 World Championship)


Name: David Bulbring:

Position Lock
Height 1.99
Weight 112
Date of Birth 12 September 1989
Place of Birth Port Elizabeth
Provincial Debut 2010 for the Golden Lions
Provincial Caps 52
Provincial Points 25
Super Rugby Debut 2010 for the MTN Lions
Super Rugby Caps 3
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
David Bulbring

He was born in Port Elizabeth and represented Eastern Province at the 2007 Under 18 Craven Week. He then joined the Golden Lions, making his debut for the team in the 2009 Vodacom Cup, which resulted in him being called up to the South Africa national under-20 rugby union team for the 2009 IRB Junior World Championship.

In 2010, he represented both UJ in the Varsity Cup and Golden Lions in the 2010 Vodacom Cup, culminating a call-up to the Lions Super Rugby team, representing them in their final Super Rugby game of the season. He then played for the Golden Lions in the 2010 Currie Cup Premier Division.

He was Golden Lions captain for the 2011 Vodacom Cup competition and made two further Super Rugby appearances. He was then part of the squad that won the 2011 Currie Cup Premier Division.

In 2012, he moved to the Eastern Province Kings.


Name: Rynier Mark (Rynier) Bernardo:

Position Lock
Height 1.99
Weight 102
Date of Birth 27 August 1991
Place of Birth Pretoria
Provincial Debut 2012 for the Eastern Province Kings
Provincial Caps 13
Provincial Points 0
Super Rugby Debut
Super Rugby Caps 0
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Rynier Bernardo

He came through the youth level ranks at the Eastern Province Kings, representing them in several youth sides until being chosen for the senior squad for the 2012 Vodacom Cup competition. He was named in the Kings squad for the 2013 Super Rugby season.

Rugby Career

  • 2012: Eastern Province Kings (ABSA Currie Cup promotion / Relegation), Eastern Province Kings (ABSA Under 21 Competition), Eastern Province Kings (Currie Cup 1st Division), Eastern Province Kings (Vodacom Cup)
  • 2011: Eastern Province (ABSA Under 21 Competition)
  • 2010: Eastern Province (ABSA Under 19 Competition), Eastern Province (ABSA Under 21 Competition)
  • 2009: EP (Under 18 Coca-Cola Craven Week)
  • 2008: SA Academy (SA Schools), Eastern Province (Under 18 Academy Week)
  • 2007: Eastern Province Under 16 (Under 16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week)


Additional players

In addition, the Southern Kings have Armand du Preez, Samora Fihlani and Wayne van Heerden to fall back on when rotation, injuries and poor form forces their hand. As I’ve said before, I will limit discussion to players who WILL feature in Super Rugby in 2013.



My guess is that Steven Sykes & David Bulbring will be sure starters, with Wayne van Heerden getting a look in and Samora Fihlani could be on the bench. To put it bluntly, the Southern Kings are scraping the barrell as far as locks go, with only 2 premier locks in their ranks.


The next Article in the range will deal with the Southern Kings loooseforwards.

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