Cape Town - The Eastern Province Kings have, after extended negotiations with the Leopards, secured the services of up and coming backline stars Luther Obi and Sylvian Mahuza.
EP Kings CEO, Charl Crous said following the commercial agreement between the two unions both Obi and Mahuza, who have been in Nelson Mandela Bay since January, would be released by the Leopards and contracted to the Kings. They will also both be included in the EP Kings Vodacom Cup squad.
“We are pleased that we have been able to finalise these negotiations and that an amicable solution has been found for all parties, with both Luther and Sylvian now being part of the Kings family,” Crous said.
Crous said Eastern Province Rugby Union President, Cheeky Watson, and Leopards Rugby Union President, André May, had been in constant contact to negotiate the transfer of the players.
“At no point was there any malicious intent or deliberate acts to poach players from the Leopards and we are really grateful to the Leopards for their willingness to engage us and assist in finding a way to resolve this matter amicably,” he said.
Obi, now 21, is originally from Nigeria but played most of his youth rugby for the Golden Lions, representing them in the U13 Craven Week and the U16 Grant Khomo competitions.
In 2012 he joined the Leopards and played for them in the u19 Provincial Championship, finishing as the third highest points scorer with ten tries to his name. The following year he joined the NWU Pukke for his debut in the Varsity Cup.
His first class debut came in 2013, when he ran out for the Leopards in their 2013 Currie Cup First Division match against the Falcons. That same year he was also selected to play for the SA U20 side, scoring four tries in five appearances. Last year Obi was also part of the Lions wider Super Rugby training squad.
Mahuza, also 21, hails from George and represented the SWD Eagles in the U16 Grant Khomo competition as well as representing them in the U18 Craven Week competition for two years in a row in 2010 and 2011.
After school he moved to Potchefstroom, where he joined the Leopards and also represented NWU Pukke in Varsity Cup alongside Obi.
Mahuza was also selected for the wider training squad for the SA U20 side in 2013 and played against the Argentinean side ahead of the tournament, but failed to make the final squad for the IRB Junior World Championship.
His first class debut was alongside Obi in the 2013 Currie Cup First Division match for the Leopards against the Falcons. During last year’s Currie Cup First Division tournament (2014) he was joint top try scorer with Obi, with each player scoring 10 tries a piece in the competition.