Rugby

Cheetahs, Kings will enhance PRO14 - Kirchner

2017-08-02 11:30
Zane Kirchner (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Dragons fullback Zane Kirchner feels the inclusion of the Cheetahs and Kings will improve the revamped European PRO14 competition. 

The Dragons are grouped with Port Elizabeth based Kings in Conference B of the tournament.

The Newport side will battle the Kings at home and away. They will also face the Cheetahs either in Bloemfontein or at home next season. The fixtures should be made public by next week.

Kirchner joined the Dragons from Leinster in March. The former Springbok has linked up with numerous other South Africans including Welsh-qualified lock Rynard Landman, tighthead prop Brok Harris, scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, wing Pat Howard and fullback Carl Meyer. 

The Western Cape born utility-back, who last featured for the Boks at the 2015 World Cup, is excited about the prospect of taking on his fellow countrymen. 

The Kings won six games in this year's Super Rugby campaign while the Cheetahs won just four. Former Blue Bull Kirchner still believes both sides will enhance the PRO14. 

"They will definitely enhance the Championship," Kirchner told South Wales Argus. 

"My first season in the northern hemisphere was definitely something different to what I was used to in terms of surface and competition. 

"Super Rugby is not an easy competition. The Cheetahs did reasonably and last year [the Free State Cheetahs] won the Currie Cup while the Kings have put down a couple of big names.

"Both like to play attacking rugby with an attractive game-they are not scared to move the ball around the park. 

"Coming to the northern hemisphere in the winter, that might be a big challenge but in general they will bring some attractive rugby." 

Games to be played in South Africa will be on Saturdays to allow visiting teams seven days to prepare. Teams set to play two fixtures in the southern hemisphere will play them back-to-back on a ‘mini tour’. 

As it stands, The Kings and Cheetahs cannot qualify for European tournaments.

Read more on:    cheetahs  |  kings  |  zane kirchner  |  rugby
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