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.
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.
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.
It may be the newest rivalry in Super Rugby, but they don’t get much more appetizing and entertaining than the Southern Kings against the Lions.
We can thank the South African Rugby Union and its bungling for creating this delectable showdown for us.
Lions coaches, Johan Ackermann and Russel Winter, have named the 2 sides which will face the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth and Polokwane respectively, to take on the Southern Kings and Vodacom Blue Bulls.
Southern Kings coach Robbi Kempson is hoping the experience and bulk of prop Charl du Plessis will help their scrumming performance when they take on the Lions in a Super Rugby warm-up match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday (kick-off 17:00).
In their opening friendly against the Cheetahs last week, which the Kings lost 36-21, Kempson was not impressed with the pressure placed on the home forwards and was planning for a better showing against the Lions.
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.
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 sound of Afrikaans being spoken among a group of Edinburgh players yesterday fuelled the belief that Murrayfield is taking on a strong South African flavour, but prop Willem Nel emerged from the huddle to insist that the capital side is not losing its Scottish identity.
It was speculated here on rugby-talk on Saturday that South African centre Andries Strauss was going to sign up with Edinburgh Rugby. The news was confirmed on Sunday by the club. Strauss has signed up for two and a half seasons, subject to passing the customary medical tests.
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.
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.
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.
Omar Mouneimne has become the latest member of the Southern Kings squad to walk away from the relegated Super Rugby franchise.
Mouneimne, the Kings’ defence coach, has joined Alan Solomons on the Edinburgh coaching panel.
The player exodus at the Southern Kings is continuing, with Kings scrumhalf Shaun Venter the latest player to secure a contract with a Super Rugby franchise. Venter has signed a two year deal with the Cheetahs, commencing on the 1st November 2013.
The Blue Bulls have further bolstered their ranks with the signing of Kings loose forward Jacques “Vleis” Engelbrecht who joins them on a three-year deal.
The hard-working Engelbrecht impressed for the Kings in their debut Super Rugby season this year, and he joins teammate Waylon Murray in heading to Loftus Versveld following the Eastern Cape side’s relegation from Super Rugby.
Kings flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis has confirmed that he will be heading back to Cape Town to play for Western Province in the Currie Cup.