Brian MujatiElton JantjiesEP KingsThe 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).

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EP KingsSiviwe “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.

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Carlos SpencerEP KingsFormer 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.

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StormersThe 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.

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StormersThe 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.

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Southern KingsA 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.

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Southern KingsSouthern 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.

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LionsThe 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.

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Southern KingsLong-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.

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CheetahsJean CookJean 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.

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EP KingsGary GoldThe 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.

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David MaidzaNMMUDavid 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.

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EP KingsRonnie CookeUtility 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.

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Matt SextonThe 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.

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Super RugbyIn 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.

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MTN LionsThe 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.

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Recent Comments

  • nortierd 16 Apr 2014, 05:54 SAST - @Snoek The Stormer players who will make HM's squad, will only be there on last year's Bok form. Duane is...
  • nortierd 16 Apr 2014, 05:27 SAST - @nama On current form it's very likely.
  • nga puhi 16 Apr 2014, 03:27 SAST - 9 pins pfft.. thats nothing bru, :lol: . . harden the truck up bakkies. come see me when you can...
  • nga puhi 16 Apr 2014, 03:20 SAST - grootblousmile wrote: Arghhh Andrew Mehrtens… I used to respect you a lot, you were a bloody good player. But lately,...
  • Nama 15 Apr 2014, 23:16 SAST - @ nortierd: Come on Nortie. The Lions are only in the top half because their kicker was better....so far. Do...
  • MacroBull 15 Apr 2014, 22:49 SAST - robzim wrote: Hondo wrote:For a SR team that won 91% of its matches during 2011-2013 seasons under SARU referees the...

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