The 6th Article in the set discussing the Southern Kings.
In this Article we look at the contenders for FLYHALVES in the Southern Kings 2013 Super Rugby group, and what their worth will be in Super Rugby terms.
Name: Demetri Catrakilis:
Demetri attended St John’s College in Johannesburg where he played for the 1st team (Under 19) as a 15 year old. He then went on to captain the first team in his final school year and finished as the school’s all-time highest point scorer.
He represented the Golden Lions Under18 team in the Craven Week as the No 1 flyhalf. He was chosen to represent the Golden Lions Under 19 team for the Currie Cup season where he finished as the union’s top point scorer, playing a vital part in their journey to the semi-finals.
Following Demetri’s Currie Cup season with the Golden Lions Under 19 team, Demetri was spotted by French Top 14 team Racing Metro where he enjoyed a brief stint with the Under 23 squad before returning back home to South Africa.
He played for the Ikeys during the 2011 Varsity Cup after he was spotted performing spectacularly for local club False Bay. He was the highest point scorer of the tournament with 136 points – the highest in the history of the Varsity Cup – and helped the Ikey Tigers win their first Varsity Cup, beating Tuks 26–16, with Demetri picking up the Man of the Match award. Impressively, it was his first ever Varsity Cup competition.
After an extremely successful Varsity Cup Demetri was drafted into the Western Province Vodacom Cup team for the Quarter Final loss to the Sharks XV in 2011.
He got his chance to play in the first week of the 2011 Currie Cup Premier Division season against the Griquas. He came off the substitute bench in the last minute. With the flyhalf problem at Western Province, Demetri was chosen to start against the Leopards in Potchefstroom, where he scored 22 points as WP won 47–9. Following his fine debut, he continued to grow and started the remaining games of the Currie Cup when not injured, playing his way into becoming the No 1 flyhalf at Western Province.
In the 2011 Currie Cup, he scored 150 points with the boot at 84.21% conversion rate, as well as winning the ABSA Currie Cup Player of the Month for August after playing a vital part in guiding Western Province into the Semi-Finals. He also featured in a Man of the Match performance against the then unbeaten and eventual champions Golden Lions with a 100% kicking success rate and a drop goal. His performances saw him awarded the WP Club Rugby Player of the Year.
Because he hadn’t appeared for the Stormers in Super Rugby, he continued his Vodacom Cup career in 2012 with a number of phenomenal performances for the eventual champions Western Province. He finished second on the top-point scorer’s list on 127 points for the 2012 season with WP unbeaten. In November 2012 he was awarded with the Vodacom Cup player of the year award for his successful campaign.
After the successful Vodacom Cup, Demetri was selected as first-choice flyhalf for Western Province in their Currie Cup, proving instrumental in Western Province’s successful 2012 campaign. Demetri had a starring role in the final against the Sharks at Kings Park, where he kicked three penalties and slotted two influential drop kicks in the final quarter of the game, which swung the game in his team’s favour. WP would go on to win the game 25-18 and win their first Currie Cup title since 2001. In total, he accumulated 127 points throughout the competition at a conversion rate of 88%.
In August 2012, it was announced that he would join the Eastern Province Kings at the end of the season on a two-year deal.
Name: Wesley Roy (Wesley) Dunlop:
He went to Grey High School in Port Elizabeth and played for the Eastern Province Under 19 team, as well as NMMU in club rugby.
In 2007, he moved to Durban, where the joined the Sharks academy. He played for the Sharks XV at Under 21 level and was included in their Vodacom Cup squads in 2009 and 2010. During the 2009 Currie Cup First Division, he made 7 appearances for the Mighty Elephants (now the Eastern Province Kings). In 2010, he was a member of the College Rovers club that won the National Club Championships.
In 2011, he then moved to the Blue Bulls. He made several appearances for their Vodacom Cup team in 2011 and 2012. During the same period, he also played for the Varsity Cup side Tuks. He had a fantastic season in 2012, finishing as top scorer and also being voted the Player That Rocks.
In 2012, he then moved back to Port Elizabeth for his second spell with the Eastern Province Kings. He made his debut on 30 July 2012 in the opening game of the 2012 Currie Cup First Division season against Boland Cavaliers, scoring five points in a 25–20 victory.
Name: George Alexander (George) Whitehead:
Born in Bloemfontein, Whitehead started playing for the Free State Cheetahs in youth competitions and eventually the Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup competitions. He also represented his university – the University of the Free State in the Varsity Cup. In 2011, he joined the Eastern Province Kings.
Name: Shane Edward (Shane) Gates:
He was born in Port Elizabeth and played for the Eastern Province Kings in several underage competitions. In 2011, he was included in the 2011 Vodacom Cup squad and also represented the South African Kings in the 2011 IRB Nations Cup in Romania.
Demetri Catrakilis will be the prime flyhalf for the Southern Kings, but we can also expect game time for Wesley Dunlop and possibly for George Whitehead.
The next Article in the range will deal with the Southern Kings Centres.