The Eastern Province Kings have confirmed two new player contracts ahead of their re-entry into the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division.
EP Rugby CEO, Charl Crous confirmed that the EP Kings have signed CJ van der Linde till the end of the 2014 season, as well as signing Edgar Marutlulle until the end of 2015.
“A player such as CJ brings with him a wealth of experience that will help the younger players in the Kings setup as they step up to the next level of competition that is Currie Cup Premier Division,” he said.
“It is also great to have a calibre player such as Edgar back with us. Edgar was part of our structures last year in our debut Super Rugby campaign and it is great to have him back,” said Crous.
Van der Linde represented the Free State Cheetahs at the Under-18 Craven Week tournament in 1998, earning him a call-up to the South African Schools side in the same year. As he progressed through the youth ranks at the Cheetahs, he continued playing for national youth sides, representing the Under-19s in 1999 and the Under-21s in 2000 and 2001.
He made his debut for the Springboks as a 20 year-old on 16 November 2002 in a match against Scotland at Murrayfield, which South Africa lost 21–6 and has gone on to represent South Africa 75 times since then.
He was involved in the senior setup at the Cheetahs from 2001, when he was named in their squad for the 2001 Currie Cup competition. He remained with the Free State Cheetahs until 2008, making 45 domestic appearances in the Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup competitions during his spell there as well as representing them 38 times in Super Rugby.
Van der Linde signed a three-year contract with Leinster in late 2008. He represented them in the Magners League and Heineken Cup competitions between 2008 and 2010. He returned to his former side the Free State Cheetahs following his release from Leinster and made four appearances for them during the 2010 Currie Cup Premier Division competition.
He joined the Cape Town-based Stormers for 2011, making 11 appearances for them during the 2011 Super Rugby season. He then left the Stormers to join the Golden Lions, where he played during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, as well as making seven appearances for the Lions in the 2013 Super Rugby season.
On 12 December 2013, it was announced that he had signed with London Irish until the end of the 2013–14 season in the Aviva Premiership and he has now joined the Eastern Province Kings.
Edgar Marutlulle is a product of Potchefstroom High School and represented SA Schools in 2005, SA U-19 in 2006 and SA Students in 2007, 2008 and 2009 while attending North-West University.
He represented the Leopards at several youth levels before moving to the Golden Lions, where he made his first team debut against Western Province in the 2010 Currie Cup Premier Division.
Marutlulle was included in the 2011 Lions Super Rugby squad, where he made his debut against the Bulls.
He rejoined the Leopards for the 2012 Currie Cup First Division season before moving across to the Southern Kings on loan for the 2013 Super Rugby season. Marutlulle played four games for the Southern Kings before returning to the Leopards to assist them in their Currie Cup campaign.