Two more Southern Kings players have decided to make their futures elsewhere, bringing the tally to 10 so far. Cornell du Preez will join Solly (Alan Solomons) in Edinburgh, and Nicolas Vergallo will join French club, Lyon.
The players who have now already left the Southern Kings are: Nicolas Vergallo, Cornell du Preez, Daniel Adongo, Waylon Murray, Bandise Maku, Jacques Engelbrecht, David Bulbring, SP Marais, Wesley Dunlop and Dimetri Catrakilis. Alan Solomons of course has also jumped ship to Edinburgh.
Cornell du Preez:
Alan Solomons scored another coup for Scottish outfit Edinburgh with the signing of 22-year-old Southern Kings back row forward Cornell du Preez.
Du Preez is expected to arrive in the Scottish capital later this month, subject to visa and medical examination.
The former South African Under-20 star is equally adept on the blindside flank and No.8 position and arrives after an impressive debut Super Rugby season.
His move to Murrayfield reunites him with Solomons, who brought du Preez into the Kings franchise after the 2011 Junior World Championships – during his previous incarnation as Director of Rugby at the South African franchise .
Solomons said: “This signing is fantastic news for the club. Cornell is the complete package.
“He’s very strong physically, is an exceptionally good carrier, has very good skills and is a powerful and confrontational defender.
“It was universally accepted that he was an absolute star in his first Super season.
“He’s a fantastic player and we’re delighted that he’s coming here.”
Born and schooled in Port Elizabeth, Du Preez went to North West University in Potchefstroom, where he played in the Varsity Cup for NWU-Pukke and the Leopards in the Under-19 and Under-21 competitions.
After his part in the national age-grade set-up, Du Preez’ imposing defensive presence and strong running played a big part in the improved fortunes for Eastern Province, where he helped them to a 16-match unbeaten run to lift the First Division title last year.
With nine tries in 19 provincial appearances to his name, Du Preez leapfrogged the domestic Premier Division into the Super Rugby set-up, where he added a further five scores in 16 outings in his first year.
He said: “I’m really excited about joining up with the squad at Edinburgh Rugby.
“The decision to move was an easy one to make, especially when you look at the quality competitions that the club plays in week in, week out, taking on some of the best players in the world, all over Europe.
“I have a very good relationship with [head coach] Alan Solomons and [defence coach] Omar Mouneimne, who’ve had a huge influence on my career and in my joining the club.
“They believe in me, and I believe in their systems and what they want to achieve.
“I’m really looking forward to this awesome opportunity and cannot wait to join up with the black and red army.”
The great exodus out of Port Elizabeth continued with the news that Argentine scrumhalf Nicolas Vergallo will leave the Kings to take up a contract with Lyon.
EPRU President Cheeky Watson wished Vergallo well with his new contract with Lyon in France, which was confirmed on Tuesday.
“I know that Vergallo has strong aspirations to play international rugby for the Pumas. Many of his former team-mates from Argentina play in the French and European competitions, and the move to Lyon was therefore a sensible option in lieu of him wanting to again represent his country,” Watson said.
Lyon current top the Pro D2 league, the second level in France’s professional league system.
Vergallo joins Cornell du Preez, Daniel Adongo, Waylon Murray, Bandise Maku, Jacques Engelbrecht, David Bulbring, SP Marais, Wesley Dunlop, Dimitri Catrakilis and Director of Rugby Alan Solomons – among others – to have left the Kings since the completion of this year’s Super Rugby tournament.