Double injury blow for Kings
Hannes Franklin (Gallo Images)
Port Elizabeth - Southern Kings hooker, Hannes Franklin, and lock, Darron Nell, have both suffered knee injuries during Southern Kings training sessions this week.
Director of Rugby, Alan Solomons, said on Thursday that it looked as if Franklin would be out for between six to twelve weeks, after tearing the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during a training session on Tuesday.
"We will have a better idea of the extent of the injury and duration of treatment in the next 24 hours," said Solomons.
Franklin made his professional debut for the Falcons in 2003 then spent one season at the Pumas and three seasons at the SWD Eagles, before returning to the Pumas in 2009. During his second spell at the Pumas, he also represented the Royal XV in a game during the 2009 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa. He was also included in the Lions Super Rugby squad in 2010.
In 2010, Franklin captained the Pumas Currie Cup Premier Division side in the Promotion/Relegation match against the EP Kings Currie Cup 1st Division squad, leading the Pumas to a narrow victory which helped them avoid relegation.
Franklin then made the move across to the EP Kings in 2011, and has been a regular member of Kings' starting line-up ever since. He was named as part of the Southern Kings 40-man squad ahead of their Super Rugby debut earlier this week.
Nell, who is also part of the Southern Kings' 40-man squad, injured his knee during a training session on Monday when he collided with a partially exposed sprinkler head on the field.
"Darron has suffered a soft tissue injury, but thankfully there is no fracture. He is expected to be out for about three weeks," said Solomons.
Nell debuted for the Free State Cheetahs in the 2003 Vodacom Cup, where he remained until 2008 before joining the French Top 14 team Castres for two seasons.
He represented the Southern Kings in the 2009 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa and returned to South Africa in 2010 to play for the Eastern Province Kings.
The Kings, who will replace the Lions in this year's Super Rugby competition, start their campaign at home against Australia's Force on February 23.
Southern Kings' 40-man Super Rugby squad:Forwards:
Rynier Bernardo, David Bullbring, Kevin Buys, Cornell du Preez, Jacques Engelbrecht, Jaco Engels
, Schalk Ferreira, Hannes Franklin, Ross Geldenhuys, Lizo Gqoboka, Virgil Lacombe, Tomas Leonardi, Bandise Maku
, Edgar Marutlulle, Mpho Mbiyozo, Darron Nell, Daniel Adongo, Devin Oosthuizen, Steven Sykes, Wimpie van der Walt, Luke Watson
, Ronnie Cooke, Wesley Dunlop, Siyanda Grey, Johan Herbst, Michael Killian, SP Marais, Scott Mathie, Waylon Murray
, Hadleigh Parkes, Sergeal Petersen
, Marcello Sampson, Shakes Soyizwapi, Wayne Stevens, Andries Strauss, Elrich van Vuuren, Shaun Venter, Nicolas Vergallo, George Whitehead