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No major injuries from Madibaz game




Following the contact session against the NMMU Madibaz on Friday last week, a few players have picked up minor injuries and will be monitored through the week.

Southern Kings Head Coach, Deon Davids, said Lukanyo Am had sustained a bruised knee, while Malcolm Jaer and Jurgen Visser both had tight hamstrings, which would be monitored ahead of the Southern Kings clash against the SWD Eagles in their first official warm up match in George on Friday.

Other players who are on the injury list and undergoing rehab are Phillip du Preez, with an ankle injury, Aidon Davis and Louis Fouche, with knee injuries, Jaco van Tonder, who is recovering from an ACL injury sustained last year and  Kevin Luiters, with a strained calf.

Cornell Hess had also been sent home today due to illness, said Davids.

“It is obviously a concern when you have a long injury list before the start of the season, but we are doing the best that we can under the current circumstances,” said Davids.

Davids said he was thankful for the opportunity to have a hit out against the NMMU Madibaz last week.

“It was the best practice that we could ask for. The NMMU guys really gave us a go. I think we were really tested on defense and on attack, but I’m happy with the way we responded,” he said.

Davids said from an attacking point of view, there was room for improvement in continuity and keeping the ball through phases, and that he was not happy with the tackle count on defense.

He said the first official warm up game against the SWD Eagles at Outeniqua Park in George would play a crucial role in looking at various player combinations.

“Going into our first official friendly our focus will shift, and we will begin to focus more in terms of testing combinations, as well as at improving on our performance from the NMMU game,” he said.

Kings bench Luke


The Southern Kings have named Andries Strauss as captain, with Luke Watson coming on from the bench for the match against the Cheetahs on Saturday in Bloemfontein.

Director of Rugby, Alan Solomons, said the decision to bench Watson had been made following a number of factors.

“Just to put perspective on it, Luke sustained a bad ankle injury at the end of last season and missed the last couple of games. He worked very hard, he is extremely professional and diligent, to get his fitness up to speed, which he did by the last pre-season game against the Griquas,” he said.

“Unfortunately in the first game, against the Western Force, Luke sustained a nasty throat injury where he fractured a bone in his throat that made things extremely difficult in that it partially blocked his airway and made training impossible.”

Solomons said Watson had restarted training while the team was on tour and had played a full 80 minutes against the SWD Eagles in the Vodacom Cup the week before the team returned.

He said he had discussed Watson’s fitness with him as well as the medical and conditioning team ahead of the Bulls game and had decided that they would start him and play him for 40 to 45 minutes, which they did.

“Obviously Luke is our captain. He is an experienced player with international experience and super rugby experience,” he said

“For this particular game, however, we are playing up country in Bloemfontein, there is an altitude factor and after discussing it with the conditioning and medical staff, as part of the plan for Luke’s full re-entry into Super Rugby, I have decided that the most appropriate thing would be for him to come in off the bench.”

“With Luke coming off the bench, Andries assumes captaincy and Steven Sykes takes control of the Forwards as vice captain,” he said.

Solomons said Sergeal Petersen was also not up for selection after continuing concerns over the groin strain he had sustained last week during training, despite initial indications that he was eligible for selection.

“Sergeal’s groin is still not 100% and on discussing it with the medical staff, we feel that it would not be worth risking.”

“He is a young guy, an athlete and wing. If he tears the groin muscle, it could not only affect his playing this season, but his career going forward. He is a young 18-year-old who has a marvellous career ahead of him and we feel that to be cautious at this point in time is the right thing for him.”

Solomons said Petersen’s unavailability presented an opportunity for Siyanda Grey to make his Super Rugby debut, while Marcello Sampson was also being rested, making way for Michael Killian, who missed out the first half of the season after breaking his arm before the start of the season.

“Siyanda sustained a torn ACL last season, and it has been a long hard road to recovery, but he has now played regularly for the Vodacom Cup side and it is great to have him back playing for the senior side and being able to play Super Rugby.”

“Marcello has been involved in most of the games to date, Michael comes back from injury and we have done a rotation there, as it is important that we have strength in depth. One must also remember that we have now played seven games back to back, including four on tour, and the effects of that are being felt,” he said.

Solomons said Ronnie Cooke moved back to centre for Waylon Murray, who moved to the bench.

Discussing the front pack, Solomons said Rynier Bernardo would start while David Bulbring moved to the bench, while Jacques “Vleis” Engelbrecht  would start at number eight in Watson’s place.

Virgile Lacombe has also been named on the bench, having recovered from his rib injury and having come off a strong showing in the second half of the Vodacom Cup game against the Sharks XV this past weekend.

Kings team:

15.          George Whitehead

11.          Michael Killian

13.          Ronnie Cooke

12.          Andries Strauss (Captain)

14.          Siyanda Grey

10.          Demetri Catrakilis

9.             Shaun Venter

1.             Schalk Ferreira

2.             Bandise Maku

3.             Kevin Buys

6.             Cornell du Preez

4.             Steve Sykes (Vice Captain)

5.             Rynier Bernado

7.             Wimpie van der Walt

8.             Jacques Engelbrecht


16.          Virgile Lacombe

17.          Grant Kemp

18.          David Bulbring

19.          Luke Watson

20.          Nicolas Vergallo

21.          Waylon Murray

22.          Siviwe Soyizwapi

Don’t you… Forget about me…


As you walk on by, will you call my name?

Kings ring changes for Brumbies


The Kings have made a number of changes for their 3rd game on tour against the Brumbies.

Kings team for Canes match


Steven Sykes and Andries Strauss returns for the Kings as they tackle the Hurricanes on their second game on tour.

Canes team for Kings


Following the team’s first bye of the season, the Hurricanes will return to Westpac Stadium this Easter Saturday.

The team will have an afternoon match with the newest team to the competition, the Southern Kings. This will be the Hurricanes’ first South African opponent of the 2013 season.

Dane Coles will return to the starting line-up after a two week lay-off with a lower ankle strain and Andre Taylor returns to fullback jersey. There are a few brackets to the starting line-up, as the coaches wait to see how the team come through training on Thursday. TJ Perenara has a calf strain and Conrad Smith a bruised heel. Both will need to complete training before they will be cleared to play for Saturday’s match. If not, that would see Chris Smylie start at halfback with Samisoni Fisilau making his debut on the bench. Alapati Leiua would move into centre and Matt Proctor debuting on the wing.

Ash Dixon will wear the back-up hooker jersey again allowing Motu Matu’u to recover from his shoulder injury. Changes on the bench include Mark Reddish, who is back in the mix after a hamstring injury early on in the competition, and Reynold Lee-Lo takes jersey number 22 to round off the bench.

Jeffery Toomaga-Allen will remain on the side-line this week with an injured sternum. Blade Thomson is still unavailable due to his high ankle sprain for another 3-4 weeks.

The Hurricanes team is as follows:

  1. Ben Franks
  2. Dane Coles
  3. Ben May
  4. Jeremy Thrush
  5. Jason Eaton
  6. Brad Shields
  7. Karl Lowe
  8. Victor Vito
  9. TJ Perenara / Chris Smylie
  10. Beauden Barrett
  11. Julian Savea
  12. Tim Bateman
  13. Conrad Smith (c) / Alapati Leiua
  14. Alapati Leiua / Matt Proctor
  15. Andre Taylor


  1. Ash Dixon
  2. Reggie Goodes
  3. Mark Reddish
  4. Faifili Levave
  5. Chris Smylie / Samisoni Fisilau
  6. Tusi Pisi
  7. Reynold Lee-Lo

Shields spreading the love again (oh and the shit)


The Spred and Spri awards

Crusaders name team for Kings match


The Crusaders take on new comers the Southern Kings this Saturday. While the Kings are new to the Investec Super Rugby tournament, their coach Matt Sexton is no stranger to the Crusaders and he will be out to show his old team mates what his South African team are made of.

Kings call back foreign players to SA from tour


Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) President, Cheeky Watson, left Port Elizabeth this afternoon for New Zealand, to go and address the Southern Kings touring squad following the announcement from the SA Rugby Union (SARU) relating to the foreign player issue.

SARU & Kings media releases on issue of foreign players


SA Rugby have released a statement with regards to Kings selections of foreign players.

Chiefs: Messam gets his ton


Chiefs co-captain Liam Messam is to become the first Chief to play 100 Investec Super Rugby matches when the Chiefs play the Southern Kings this weekend.

Kings unchanged for Chiefs


The Southern Kings have announced an unchanged squad to tackle the Chiefs on Friday night at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Speaking at the press conference this morning, Director of Rugby, Alan Solomons said the unchanged team was a testament to the players’ commitment and dedication.

“I think we spoke at the beginning of the season about how we, as a group, were looking to get some consistency in selection particularly over the first three games, which was the first phase of the season before going away on tour; and we have been able to do that which is also a tribute to the players who have given themselves and have performed very, very well.”

Asked about the absence of regular captain, Luke Watson, Solomons said that Watson was still recovering from his injury after taking a blow to the throat during the game against the Western Force on the 23rd of February.

“Luke will be seeing the specialist tomorrow or Thursday. Once that has happened we can take decisions going forward. I think we have to take those decisions once we see the prognosis. It’s just a freak injury and just most unfortunate,” he said.

Asked about concerns over the depth of the Southern Kings squad, Solomons pointed out that the Kings were doing well in the face of recent injuries.

“I think our depth is reasonable., there are some positions where you have less depth than others, but I think we’ve got a reasonable amount of depth at the moment, and we’ve seen that. I mean Luke hasn’t played, Hannes hasn’t been available, Virgil hasn’t been available, I think our depth is not too bad across the board in our squad,” he said.

Head coach Matt Sexton said the team would be looking at retaining the ball more during their encounter with the Chiefs on Friday.

“They have good depth right across the board, so I think looking at their squad, whatever team they put out will be pretty solid at scrum time too, we will have a bit of a job on our hands and look forward to the challenge,” he said.

Sexton said the team had learnt a lot following their encounter against The Sharks last week.

“Part of being defensive was that we didn’t hold onto the ball properly and we made some silly errors and turned over ball when we shouldn’t have. I think if we held onto the ball for a number of phases it might have been a different story.”

“So we’ve been working on that at training and making sure guys understand. They’ve seen the pictures and the implications of letting go of the ball to easily,” he said.

Sexton said the Chiefs were particularly clinical in their game.

“They have threats right across the board. They’re pretty clinical when you turn over the ball or on a miscued kick or things like that. We want to be nice and tidy with what we do and I think that if we do that we’ll present a good challenge to them,” he said.

Darron Nell, who will once again captain the side in Watson’s absence, said he was looking forward to the game against the Chiefs.

“Last week we had the Sharks and this week we have the Chiefs, the two finalists from last year. I think we just want to concentrate on our processes and make sure that they work well and I think the results will look after themselves. Without a doubt it’s going to be a tough game but we just want to look at ourselves and make sure we can do what we can do properly,” he said.

When asked about comments being made about South African rugby being boring, Nell chirped.

“I think if you watch some of the games there were a few quite boring, if you watch the Sharks Kings game that was pretty exciting.”

Kings team

15.          SP Marais

11.          Marcello Sampson

13.          Ronnie Cooke

12.          Andries Strauss (Vice Captain)

14.          Sergeal Petersen

10.          Demetri Catrakilis

9.             Shaun Venter

1.             Schalk Ferreira

2.             Bandise Maku

3.             Kevin Buys

6.             Cornell du Preez

4.             Darron Nell (Captain)

5.             Steve Sykes

7.             Wimpie van der Walt

8.             Jacques Engelbrecht


16.          Edgar Marutlulle

17.          Jaco Engels

18.          David Bulbring

19.          Daniel Adongo

20.          Nicolas Vergallo

21.          George Whitehead

22.          Hadleigh Parkes

Sharks names unchanged line-up for Kings


John Plumtree has the rare pleasure of being able to select an unchanged line-up for his team’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash with the Southern Kings at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.

Kings name team for Sharks


The Southern Kings have announced their Super Rugby Squad to take on The Sharks at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday, 9th of March 2013.

The team will run onto the field under the leadership of Darron Nell, after Director of Rugby Alan Solomons announced that last Skipper Luke Watson had been named on the bench following the blow he took to his throat during the game against the Western Force.

“Luke is still battling with inflammation in the throat and there are still a few concerns around his fitness levels for Saturday’s game, and as a precaution we decided to keep him out of the starting line-up to ensure that we don’t disrupt the training ahead of Saturday,” he said.

“We felt from a playing perspective it was best to have the starting fifteen settled early on in the week, and we’ve done that. The consequence of that is that Darron comes up in place of David Bulbring, and takes up the leadership of the side,” he said.

Solomons said Watson would be seeing a specialist later in the week, and if there were still concerns there were alternatives that could be considered.

Andries Strauss, who celebrates his 29th birthday today, holds onto his Vice Captaincy, while Schalk Ferreira, who was battling a bit with a slight rib injury last week, has been named in the starting line-up.

Strauss said the team would be bringing the same level of intensity against The Sharks, if not bringing a more intense game than what was played against the Western Force.

“As a team we have set ourselves goals, and winning one game doesn’t mean we’ve really achieved anything yet… There is a big onus on us to improve on that and if we want to win more games in this competition then we are going to have to improve on that.”

“There is no better way than to take on a side with fifteen Springboks and showing the world once again that we can play this game,” he said.

Head coach, Matt Sexton, said they were expecting the game to be quite physical, with the Sharks most likely to be looking at wearing down the Southern Kings at the scrum.

“We will definitely be looking at improving our level of ball retention. If you consider that during the Western Force game we made in excess of a hundred tackles in the first half of the game, which, if you have to take those sort of statistics into every game, sooner or later you’re going to run out of petrol, so we want to make sure we retrieve the ball and hold onto it,” he said.

Former Sharks player, Steven Sykes, who also takes to the field in his second game for the Southern Kings, said he was looking forward to playing against his former teammates.

“I think the people will treat us with a bit more respect than what they had before the season. I think we did very well in the first game that we played and we showed that we are here and we are here to stay. I don’t think people will send their second string sides down to us, so it’s a nice challenge for us as well.”

Sykes said he was also looking forward to playing to a full house at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium.

“The atmosphere at the game against the Force was amazing, probably the best I’ve experienced, and I am hoping that everyone will come out and support us again as we take on the Sharks,” he said.

Kings team

15.          SP Marais

11.          Marcello Sampson

13.          Ronnie Cooke

12.          Andries Strauss (Vice Captain)

14.          Sergeal Petersen

10.          Demetri Catrakallis

9.             Shaun Venter

1.             Schalk Ferreira

2.             Bandise Maku

3.             Kevin Buys

6.             Cornell du Preez

4.             Darron Nell (Captain)

5.             Steve Sykes

7.             Wimpie van der Walt

8.             Jacques Engelbrecht


16.          Edgar Marutlulle

17.          Jaco Engels

18.          David Bullbring

19.          Luke Watson

20.          Nicolas Vergallo

21.          George Whitehead

22.          Hadleigh Parkes

Kings name team for Force


The Kings have named their team for their debut match in Super Rugby this weekend against the Force.

Force squad for SA Tour


The Emirates Western Force have added four Wallabies to its 26-man squad for their two-match Super Rugby South African leg.

Kings team for Lions announced


The Kings will send largely a B-team to Ellis Park for their fixture against the Lions with a number of players unavailable due to injury.

Lions name team for Kings clash


The Lions have named their team for this weekend’s match against the Kings.

Watson: ‘SARU unfair to exclude Lions’


Kings captain Luke Watson has said that SARU’s decision to relegate the Lions was unfair and expressed sadness at the Lions’ Super Rugby exit.

Opening rounds crucial for SA’s favourites


When it comes to picking the favourites to lead the South Africa conference the popular vote seems to be split between the Stormers and the Sharks.

Racism and rugby


Quite powerful isn’t it?  I also thought so when I was asked to write about it.

Kings suffer 1st injury setback


Conraad Johannes (Boetie) Britz has been called up to the Southern Kings squad following Hannes Franklin’s knee injury sustained during practice last week.

In aid of the King


The foundation from which our deep routed passion and love for rugby is built on in South Africa comes from a long and very proud history of our domestic teams.

No place for Mangweni, Stick in Kings squad


One of Eastern Province rugby’s stalwarts, Tiger Mangweni, has failed to make the cut for the Southern Kings’ Super Rugby squad.

Kings sign Adongo


Daniel Adongo’s dream of playing Super Rugby will soon come to fruition when the burly Kenyan forward turns out for Port Elizabeth’s Southern Kings in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province next season.

Imagine if…


All the excitement from the elections in the United States seems have many South Africans reflecting and saying things like; ‘Imagine if South Africa…’

Promotion-Relegation match Rnd 2: Kings v Cheetahs


The Eastern Province Kings face their biggest challenge in many years in Port Elizabeth on Friday night when they host the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in the second leg of their Absa Currie Cup promotion-relegation series.

Wat ‘n naweek van rugby!


Wat ’n naweek van rugby resultate!

Cheetahs 53, Kings 14


UPDATE: The Kings will have to beat the CheetAhs by 40 points and a bonus try in PE to gain promotion to the CC.

A Royal cock-up


Can this become more of a cock-up? I am actually afraid to ask in the fear of tempting fate…

Kings saga, a victory for administrators


You are normally taught not to engage in writing about topics when it is still too raw or too emotional, but for the hell of me I cannot fathom SA Rugby’s decision by booting the Lions out of Super Rugby in favour of the Kings.

Lions out of Super Rugby


The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Thursday confirmed South Africa’s participants in Vodacom Super Rugby at a General Meeting of the member provinces.

SARU confirms August 16th meeting


A meeting of the General Council of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) will take place in Cape Town on 16 August, SARU announced on Tuesday. The meeting replaces the postponed July 13 General Council.

A Super Solution


SARU has less than a month to find a solution for the Super Rugby problem, and options are few.

The great divide


The current Super Rugby stand-off in South Africa is a pressure-cooker situation ready to explode.

Lions being battered from all corners


It seems more likely by the day that the Lions will be relegated from Super Rugby in 2013 as they are being battered from all corners – even their franchise partners.

SARU release – Update on Kings issue


The South African Rugby Union issued a release following their meeting today with the 5 existing franchises and the Kings.

King for a day


The Southern Kings are far from assured of Super Rugby participation in 2013.

It’s a question of time


While there is no official word yet on the fate of the Lions Rugby Union and their Super Rugby future, it is interesting to note how forces seem to conspire against them to fail, rather than to assist them in seeing off this difficult period.

‘SA Rugby, you made the mess, you fix it’


The message is loud and clear to SA Rugby as they plan to lobby their cause to include the Kings in next year’s SupeRugby competition with their SANZAR partners.

SA Rugby delays Oz visit for new franchise proposal


SA Rugby has postponed their planned visit to Oz for a 16th team in SupeRugby in 2013.

SA wants to wreck a ‘great’ competition


Our old favourite, Spiro Zavos believes the Super Rugby conference system is a winning recipe, and that everything must be done in order to stop the South Africans wrecking it.

Raise your hand if you’re embarrassed!


Hands up from those who feel utterly embarrassed by SA Rugby’s latest move to convince SANZAR to include a 16th team in the SupeRugby competition in 2013…

Franchises to join SARU in desperate plea for 16th team


Representatives of the South African Vodacom Super Rugby franchises will accompany the delegates of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) to present a case for competition expansion in 2013 to SANZAR partners next month.

Goodbye Lions, Hello Kings?


It can be goodbye Lions, hello Kings come 2013 as a political decision has been endorsed to allow only ONE TEAM per PROVINCE.

SARU to use TV viewership numbers in Super Rugby battle


The five local teams in the Super 15 have sent a new proposal to the SA Rugby Union (Saru) putting their case for expanding the tournament to the Super 16 from 2013.

Bissie will lead Sharks against Kings


Sharks hooker and the campaign’s vice captain, Bismarck du Plessis will lead the franchise in their warm-up match against the Kings.

SupeRugby dilemma is bad news for Lions


When we first visited this topic I mentioned that I was gob smacked that all 14 unions agreed to the Kings guaranteed participation in the 2013 SupeRugby competition and that SA Rugby must have a trick up their sleeves – well it seems they do, and from where I sit this means bad news for the Lions.

Kings participation confirmed for 2013


The Southern Kings’ place in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition in 2013 was reaffirmed at a Special Council Meeting of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) in Cape Town on Friday.

Bulls team to tackle Kings


Three times Super Rugby gold medallist Derick Kuün will lead a fairly experienced Vodacom Bulls side in their compulsory friendly against the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.