3 New signings for Kings

March 26, 2014
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EP KingsThe EP Kings have confirmed three new signings today 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. “We are very excited at these signings and are positive that these players will make a significant contribution in our Currie Cup endeavours as well as in our preparations for re-entry into Super Rugby in 2016,” said Crous.

Hooker Van Vuuren, who matriculated in 2009 from Grey High School in Port Elizabeth, will return home from France, where he has been playing for Stade Francais in the French Top 14, when his contract with them ends in June.  “I had a couple of options overseas which I had a good long hard look at, but when the Kings opportunity came along, I jumped at the offer. I felt that the time was right to come home.

 

“The Kings are a franchise with a tremendous desire to succeed and this was clearly apparent in their Super 15 campaign. Along with my team mates, helping my ‘home’ province reach great heights will be fantastic,” Van Vuuren said. After representing EP at Craven Week, Van Vuuren rose to prominence when he played for the South African Under-20 team in 2011.

Van Vuuren played in the Grey 1st XV in 2008 and 2009, alongside Springbok Siya Kolisi who is also an Old Grey. Van Vuuren has also played Varsity Cup rugby for UFS Shimlas in the 2012 Varsity Cup. He represented the Free State Cheetahs in the Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup in 2011 and 2012 seasons. At the age of 19 Van Vuuren made history at the Cheetahs when he became the youngest hooker to make his Currie Cup debut for the Cheetahs against the Leopards.

Versatile Sharks centre, Whitehead, will also be returning home to take up the Red and Black hoops. Whitehead was born in Port Elizabeth and, like Van Vuuren, attended Grey High before studying at the University of Cape Town and then playing Super Rugby for the Stormers and Sharks. While at Grey, Whitehead partnered explosive Springbok and Bulls star JJ Engelbrecht at centre.

He will be joined by fellow Sharks player, Graaff, who can play as a flyhalf, centre, wing or fullback.  Graaff, who originally hails from Pretoria, rose to prominence playing for a struggling TUT Vikings side in the Varsity Cup between 2010 and 2012 before joining the Griffons in 2012. He quickly establishing himself as a first-team regular and made several appearances for them in the Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup, earning the title of Currie Cup First Division player of the year in 2012.

He was then included in the final Cheetahs squad for the 2013 Super Rugby season, but failed to make any appearances for them. He subsequently moved to the Sharks for the Currie Cup Premier Division last year, but missed the entire competition because of a knee injury.

Now fit, Graaff will join the Kings when his contract with the Sharks ends in April.

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14 Comments

  1. avatar Jacques Nortier says:
    March 26th, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Whitehead, Sadie, Hoffman and JJ left WP same year and only JJ made something out of it all teh others just became another few hasbeen players that could have been.

  2. avatar Aldo says:
    March 26th, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    A bit harsh there Jacques. Whitehead can still make something of his career and has allready tasted some success and Sadie as well, he plays for the wrong team me thinks, but cant say he’d be any better at the Stormers.

  3. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 26th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    @Aldo: Sadie flook his “Karma” when he went full blast at the WP family and the Bulls family…..every team has a family and you do not play the one of to the other….he is paying for it….don’t flook your “Karma”

    Whitehead had it made either WP or Sharks, but he is a injury waiting to happen and these days with guys like Serfontein, JJ, de Allende and Paul Jordaan and few older chaps still around he had his changes. Whitehead should have gone for Cheetahs, nothing will happen for him at Kings.

  4. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    March 26th, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    says a lot of the game the Kings want to play that they draft Whitehead (who for me is the best distributing 12 in the country) and Graaf, who is a Le Roux type player.

    SA rugby can certainly do with another team aiming at least to play creative rugby.

  5. avatar KiwiBok15 says:
    March 27th, 2014 at 10:08 am

    If Whitehead played in the Stormers today, he wouldn’t see any ball to try and “feature” anyway. Funny how the Bulls play Stormer rugby and the Stormers play Bulls rugby! Whitehead got good distribution skills, De Allende is a young Wynand Olivier. Never offloads, crash and dies with the ball. No comparison.

  6. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 27th, 2014 at 10:58 am

    @KiwiBok15: Ok so you say Stormers only play to 10…Bulls playing running rugby and Stormers playing 10 man rugby?

    De Allende plays according to his Idiot coach gameplan….it worked against the Saders and the Idiot that is AC cannot see he need to have a plan B if A does not work on the day.

    Whitehead will fail and watch this space……if he is the next messiah why would a guy like Jake let him go….if he can not complete against the current Sharks midfield then he is not worth wasting your breath on..

  7. avatar Aldo says:
    March 27th, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Now you’re just talking Bull Jacques. No one is calling him the next messiah and as for the Sharks, maybe he doesnt fit in there? Some players do not fit the needs of certain coaches, maybe he’ll fit in better at the Kings and play better than you expected. He doesnt need to become a Bok to have made a success. He just needs to perform to his best abilities and fit into the gameplan as said by coach.

    Ettiene Botha was never a bok, yet he will allways remain a legend in my mind.

  8. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 27th, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    @Aldo: Aldo,

    If someone start comparing Whitehead with other players then you do expect him to become a bok or be better than the current flow of players, KiwiBok compare his play with Stormers and with current players, I do the same and he is no one to take note off..

    By the way Etienne was the most under rated player in decades and people who does not support the Bulls will even acknowledge that….

    Whitehead is a good CC player and that was that……same with Hoffmann, same with Cronje and the same with Sadie.

    Big things was made of them all around and only JJ took that hype and make it a success with the Bulls Structures and adopt his play to become someone that you actually notice.

    Non of the other is actually noticeable in my view. And no it is not because they left WP Rugby….actually I am glad they did, it gave them a better change to be without the mob in CT.

  9. avatar Morné says:
    March 27th, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    @Jacques(Bunny):

    Why must Jake rate someone for us to rate him as good?

    Want a list of guys he did not rate in his career and were bloody good?

    Whitehead is class, the best distributing 12 in the country. I will take him above any of the other mobs at WP any day.

  10. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 27th, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    @Morné: Not saying Jake must rate him, I don’t!! will wait and see that the praises you guys give him comes true then with the Kings….

  11. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 27th, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    @Morné: Jeez wie het jou befok gemaak vandag :soek:

  12. avatar Morné says:
    March 27th, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    @Jacques(Bunny):

    Ek moes golf gespeel het vandag!

  13. avatar Americano says:
    March 28th, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Its shocking to me that Etienne botha was never a Springbok yet whatshisname Olivier had like 20 caps.

  14. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 28th, 2014 at 7:25 am

    @Americano: :bangheadt:I agree in full

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