The Southern Kings officially kicked off their 2016 Season on a positive note today, with a number of players from the Border Bulldogs, Southern Western Districts and Sharks Joining the team on trial ahead of their return to Super Rugby in February.
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 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 have spent time with French Top 14 side Montpellier, had been signed, he said the Kings had also secured the service 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 players 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.