Southern Kings expand Super Rugby training squad

Leighton Eksteen in action for South Western Districts

South African Super Rugby franchise the Southern Kings have added to their Super Rugby training squad with the addition of players from Border Bulldogs, South Western Districts and Sharks on a trial basis.

The new players on trial from Border include Loose Forwards Billy Dutton (26) and Onke Dubase (26), Hooker Mihlali Mpafi (24) Winger Michael Makase (25) and Scrumhalf Ntando Kebe (27).

SWD players included Leighton Eksteen (21), who has played at Scrumhalf, Flyhalf and Fullback, and Luzuko Vulindlu (28) who has played at Centre and Wing.

Sharks players include Hooker Monde Hadebe (25) and Centre Lukhanyo Am (22).

Southern Kings Chief Operating Officer, Charl Crous, said these players had joined the Southern Kings on a trial basis, and that a final squad would only be announced towards the end of January.

Crous also confirmed that Tighthead Prop, Jacobie Adriaanse, who recently returned to South Africa having spent time with French Top 14 side Montpellier, had been signed. He said the Kings had also secured the services of Lock Schalk Oelofse (27) who was on loan from SWD for the season.

“We are still in the process of negotiating with other players and with the other unions, but we have made significant progress over the December break and things are looking positive, with more player announcements expected over the coming weeks,” said Crous.

Head Coach, Deon Davids, said there was a sense of quiet optimism among the players at the first orientation meeting this morning.

“The players are all very positive and excited about the season ahead,” he said.

Davids said the first week would focus on testing, as well as team building, with a number of workshops also planned. He said more rugby orientated training would begin in earnest from next week.

Shortly before the December break last year, the Kings confirmed the signings of:

Malcolm Jaer, 20, Fullback
Siyanda Grey ,26, Wing/Centre
JP du Plessis, 24, Centre
Stefan Watermeyer, 27, Centre
Elgar Watts, 30, Flyhalf
Louis Fouche, 25, Flyhalf
Shane Gates, 23, Flyhalf
James Hall, 19, Scrumhalf
Kevin Luiters, 23, Scrumhalf
Aidon Davis, 21, No 8
Sipato Junior Pokomela, 19, No 8
Cyril-John Velleman, 20, Flank
Stefan Willemse, 23, Flank
Thembelani Bholi, 25, Flank
Cornell Hess, 26, Lock
Steven Sykes, 31, Lock
Tyler Paul, 20, Lock/flank
Schalk Ferreira, 31, Prop
Tom Botha, 25, Prop
Edgar Marutlulle, 27, Hooker

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