The Eastern Province Kings are chasing the signature of Springbok prop Brian Mujati ahead of the start of the Currie Cup.
The Kings have already been bolstered by the recent signings of lock Izak van der Westhuizen (Edinburgh), hooker Michael van Vuuren (Stade Français), centre Tim Whitehead (Sharks), scrumhalf Kevin Luiters (Cheetahs) and wing Paul Perez (Samoa).
The Eastern Province Kings have confirmed Kevin Luiters as their latest signing ahead of their 2014 Currie Cup Premier Division season.
EP Kings CEO, Charl Crous, confirmed that the 21-year-old Luiters, who played scrumhalf for the Free State Cheetahs, had officially joined the Currie Cup training squad on Monday.
The Eastern Province Kings again dipped into the Sharks Tank’s resources to bolster their Currie Cup squad.
The EP Kings revealed on Monday that they have signed Springbok and former Shark Shaun Sowerby as their new forwards coach.
The EP Kings have confirmed three new signings ahead of their preparations for the Currie Cup Premier Division.
EP Kings CEO, Charl Crous confirmed that Michael van Vuuren, Tim Whitehead and Hansie Graaff will all be joining the Kings over the coming months, along with Izak van der Westhuizen whose signing has already been announced.
The Eastern Province Kings will be going head to head with Wales ahead of their Test matches against the Springboks in June.
Edinburgh rugby player, Izak van der Westhuizen, who also played for the Free State Cheetahs, will be joining the EP Kings in June.
EP Rugby CEO, Charl Crous said the 28-year-old lock out of Kimberly, had signed a three year deal with the Kings.
Siviwe “Shakes” Soyizwapi and Scott van Breda will start against the Tusker Simba XV in Cape Town on Saturday in the Eastern Province Kings first Vodacom Cup match of the season.
Vodacom Cup head coach, Mzwandile Stick, said both Soyizwapi and Van Breda, who had been on loan to the Stormers, had returned to the Kings this week, as they had not been selected as part of the Stormers touring squad.
Former All Black Carlos Spencer has been tasked to guide the Eastern Province Kings in their return to the Currie Cup competition.
Spencer, who joined the Kings in December, has been appointed head coach for the Currie Cup season.
The DHL Stormers have been the South African side to be hit with the most pre-season injuries of all 5 Super Rugby Franchises. It has left them lean at lock and in the backline at wing and fullback.
Jaco Taute is rported to be out for 2 more weeks,as a result of which the Stormers have had to scramble to sign more depth, which now comes in the form of signing Shakes Soyizwapi from the EP Kings.
In addition, speculation is rife around what the constitution of the back three will be to run out against the Lions in Super Rugby on the weekend and the likelyhood is that Allister Coetzee would entrust a midfield spot next to Jean de Villiers to Michael van der Spuy.
Springbok Siya Kolisi scored a hat-trick as the Stormers dispatched the Southern Kings in a Super Rugby pre-season outing.
The Stormers eventually won 40 / 7, after racing into a commanding 19 / 0 lead inside the first half-hour, at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
A new proposal could see the so-called big five unions and the Eastern Province Kings be assured of their Currie Cup status for at least the next two years.
This is the latest proposal to be voted on at an annual South African Rugby Union (SARU) meeting next Thursday.
The DHL Stormers have announced that Juan de Jongh has injured his knee and will miss 6 weeks of rugby.
In addition, Schalk Burger makes double news, being named the Captain of the side who will take on the Southern Kings on the weekend and with the further news that he wants to stay put in the Cape, at least till after the next World Cup.
A somewhat changed Southern Kings team will take to the field against the DHL Stormers under the leadership of Steven Sykes on Friday evening, says caretaker coach, Robbie Kempson.
Announcing the team at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Kempson said Sykes would take the role of captain this week, following an injury to Darron Nell’s elbow that has resulted in him being excluded from selection.
The Southern Kings will have to appoint a new captain for the game on Friday when they take on the DHL Stormers (in a pre-season Super Rugby warm-up game for the Stormers) at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Southern Kings stand-in coach Robbie Kempson feels his charges require a major “mind-shift” or they won’t convert close defeats into victories.
The Kings have been “competitive” in back-to-back outings against Super Rugby franchises – losing 21-36 to the Cheetahs last week, before running the Lions even closer (a 12-19 loss) this past weekend.
The Lions continued their build-up to their Super Rugby return with a 19-12 win over the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Flanks Jaco Kriel and Derick Minnie crossed for tries in the first 15 minutes to set up the victory for a Lions team that has now beaten the Kings three times in four meetings in the past year.
Lions coach Johan Ackermann will bring out most of his big guns for their second Super Rugby pre-season outing.
The Lions, who return to Super Rugby in 2014 after sitting out last year, head to Port Elizabeth where they will face the Southern Kings on Saturday.
The Cheetahs had to come from behind to earn a 36-21 victory over a spirited Southern Kings side at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Trailing 21-12 at half-time, the Cheetahs controlled most of the possession in the second half to whittle away at the Kings’ lead and to finally emerge winners in a hard-fought battle.
Brendan Venter’s passion for coaching knows no bounds. His latest stop on a world-wide coaching tour is Port Elizabeth.
Robbie Kempson, the Southern Kings’ caretaker coach, revealed that Venter is assisting him with the PE-based outfit.
Long-serving Southern Kings player Darron Nell is back as captain and relishing a return to the loose forward department when his side take on the Cheetahs in a Super Rugby warm-up match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
The Kings will not be involved in the Super Rugby competition this year, having lost to the Lions in a promotion playoff last year. However, they were still determined to give a good account of themselves in the pre-season clash.
Jean Cook, imported from the Bulls in the off-season, has jumped ahead of Sevens Springbok Johannes Prinsloo in the Cheetahs loose forward queue.
Cook, who started his career with the Cheetahs where he made only one senior appearance before switching to the Bulls in 2012, is set to fill the gap left by injured Bok openside flank Heinrich Brussow.
It has been confirmed that Cook will start – alongside Pieter Labuschagné and Philip van der Walt – as the Cheetahs’ first-choice loose trio against the Southern Kings on Saturday.
The Eastern Province Kings may be keen, but they are a long way off from securing the services of Gary Gold.
Media reports on Friday suggested the former Springbok assistant coach could be heading to Port Elizabeth – to fill the void left by the departure of another former Bok assistant, Alan Solomons, and New Zealander Matt Sexton.
The Eastern Province Kings have stemmed the tide of departures with the news that they have secured the services of a Cheetah.
EP Rugby CEO Charl Crous confirmed that Michael Horak will be joining Eastern Province as their defensive coach later in the year.
David Maidza, who coached the Eastern Province Kings’ Vodacom Cup and First Division Currie Cup teams this year, will officially join the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University rugby coaching staff from January.
Maidza has already been assisting with the training of the Varsity Cup Madibaz at NMMU since mid November, but will officially take up the position of head coach next year, replacing Brent Janse van Rensburg.
Utility back Ronnie Cooke walked away with three top awards at the Eastern Province rugby year-end awards function.
Aside from being elected as the Player of the Year for 2013, Cooke was voted as the Players Player of the Year by his teammates, and was also elected the Most Valuable Player of the Year by team management.
The exodus in Port Elizabeth continues with confirmation that Southern Kings coach Matt Sexton will leave the union and return to New Zealand this month.
Sexton, who joined the union in June 2012 to assist them in their preparations for their entry into Super Rugby, has decided to return home for personal reasons.
A proposal to expand the Currie Cup to eight teams in 2014 was withdrawn before being put to the vote at a SARU Special General Council meeting in Cape Town on Friday.
In preparation of the 2014 Super Rugby season, the pre-season is underway before the Christmas / New Year break later in December.
So, what happens to the remaining Southern Kings players, who now have to sit out of Super Rugby again? Whilst a lot have already found franchises like the Bulls, Sharks, Cheetahs to sign for and others are available on loan to these other franchises, there is still a number of players who want to find a spot to play Super Rugby in 2014. Sergeal Petersen, young wing sensation of the EP Kings and Southern Kings is one such player.
Then we move over to up-and-coming youngsters who have now played Currie Cup rugby and questions are asked whether they will step up and rock Super Rugby the way they did the Currie Cup. We specifically look at Cheslin Kolbe, who set the world alight at Western Province in the Currie Cup.
The Lions have finalised their warm-up matches ahead of next year’s Super Rugby tournament, however there are rumours of demands and coaching demands by the Pumas, who form part of the Lions Super Rugby franchise.
These rumours want us to believe that the Pumas are insisting that their coach, Jimmy Stonehouse, has to be involved in coaching at the MTN Lions. With Golden Lions coach Johan Ackermann’s coaching contract already extended and with him the designated figure to take the head coach role for the MTN Lions, this spat could easily turn ugly if the parties do not reach some compromise and consensus.
Kings duo Rynier Bernardo and Shane Gates have both been called up to the Cheetahs wider training camp ahead of next year’s Super Rugby season.