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Southern Kings

Southern KingsSouthern 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.

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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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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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Edinburgh_Rugby_logoAStraussbIt 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.

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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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Cornell du PreezNicolas VergalloTwo 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.

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Jacques EngelbrechtThe 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.

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Southern KingsAs the Southern Kings lick their wounds after their narrow exit from Vodacom Super Rugby they will now face a massive exit as players and coaches look to greener pastures both locally and abroad.

EP Kings president Cheeky Watson has played down the exit, focusing on the glass-half-full scenario, but up to 10 Kings players are likely to announce moves to other franchises and abroad in the next few days.

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EllisparkAnything you can do, we can do better! This is the message, loud and clear, from Lions fans to their Southern Kings rivals.

The Kings have been praised for their good crowd attendances at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, but the Lions will well and truly upstage them.

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Alan SolomonsWho remembers the old movie, King Solomon’s mines? Well, The Southern Kings, own Solomons… Alan Solomons, is off to dig for gold elsewhere. We’ve known about it, it has been denied, but still came to pass.

Kings Director of Rugby Alan Solomons will part ways with the Eastern Cape franchise after being appointed head coach of Edinburgh.

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Southern KingsMTN LionsKings (14) 19 / 26 (19) Lions (Final Score)

The Southern Kings and MTN Lions did battle in the 1st of 2 Promotion / Relegation games for Super Rugby

at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & CSN on TV in SA.


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MTN LionsSouthern KingsThe FIRST of two Promotion / Relegation matches, to decide wo of the MTN Lions or the Southern Kings will take part in Super Rugby 2014 will be played on Friday 26 July 2013 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth.

This follows after the Southern Kings ended last in the South African Super Rugby Conference, in fact ended stone last in the whole of 2013’s Super Rugby competition. SARU’s determination was that the team who ended last in the South African Conference will play a series of two Promotion / Relegation matches against the MTN Lions, who had to make way at the end of 2012 in favour of the Southern Kings, in rather unfortunate and bumbling circumstances engineered by SARU.

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Super RugbyThe Vodacom Bulls secured first place in the South African Conference and booked their place in the Vodacom Super Rugby Finals Series with an emphatic win over the Southern Kings at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

At the same time, The Sharks and the DHL Stormers kept alive their slim mathematical chances of reaching the playoffs when they beat the Blues and the Toyota Cheetahs respectively.

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