Nell to captain Kings v Lions

2013-07-23 15:30

Port Elizabeth - Darron Nell has been named captain of the Kings team that will take on the Lions at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday in the first of two promotion-relegation matches for the right to play Super Rugby next year.

Kick-off is at 19:10.

Nell was called up after Andries Strauss broke his left hand during practice on Friday last week.

“Darron has done a tremendous job for us over the years in a leadership role, whenever he has captained a side he has done so successfully, and after giving the matter careful consideration we feel he is the best man to lead the side in this big game,” said Director of Rugby, Alan Solomons.

“Ronnie will take over the leadership of the back line as vice captain, he has, throughout the season, had a very influential role and has played nearly every single game for us, and we are very fortunate to have someone of that ilk taking leadership of the backs.”

“Andries was the one player who was not considered because of his broken hand, but it has presented a great opportunity for Shane Gates to come up to the starting fifteen,” said Director of Rugby, Alan Solomons.

Solomons said there was a fair amount of consistency in the team that had been selected, with many pairings having played together throughout the season. The Front pack remains relatively unchanged, with Schalk Ferreira, Bandise Maku and Kevin Buys, while loose trio Wimpie van der Walt, Jacques “Vleis” Engelbrecht and Cornell du Preez will be looking to make a significant impact in play.

“This match is critical to both franchises, because the consequences of these matches are extremely serious. The winner of these two matches remains in Super Rugby and the side that loses is out of Super Rugby,” said Solomons.

Head coach Matt Sexton said there was an air of excitement among the players ahead of the game.

“I think the general feeling we have is excitement, it’s a huge occasion, it’s like a test match or world cup final. The guys are looking forward to the occasion,” he said.

Sexton said he did not want to give too much away about the game plan.

“You take each team on their merits and there are opportunities that will be presented during the match and we just need to capitalise on that,” he said.

“The times where we have been successful on the score board are times where we’ve been very clinical in our approach,” he said.

Supporters have been encouraged to wear black to show their support on Friday. Tickets are available at Computicket, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and the Boardwalk Ticketing Office.



15. SP Marais, 11. Marcello Sampson, 13. Ronnie Cooke, 12. Shane Gates, 14. Hadleigh Parkes, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Shaun Venter, 8. Jacques Engelbrecht, 7. Wimpie van der Walt, 6. Cornell du Preez, 5. David Bulbring, 4. Darron Nell (captain), 3. Kevin Buys, 2. Bandise Maku, 1. Schalk Ferreira

Substitutes: 16. Charl du Plessis, 17. Hannes Franklin, 18. Steven Sykes, 19. Devin Oosthuizen, 20. Nicolas Vergallo, 21. George Whitehead, 22. Waylon Murray


15. Ruan Combrinck, 14. Deon van Rensburg, 13. Stokkies Hanekom, 12. Dylan des Fountain, 11. Anthony Volmink, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Michael Bondesio, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Derrick Minnie, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Hendrik Roodt, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Martin Bezuidenhout, 1. JC Janse van Rensburg

Substitutes: Robbie Coetzee, Ruan Dreyer, Willie Britz, Warwick Tecklenburg, Ross Cronje, Marnitz Boshoff, Chrysander Botha


  • Matt Prinsloo - 2013-07-23 15:39

    GO KINGS!!!!

      Nick Andrews - 2013-07-23 16:51

      @Stephan. If you b*tch anymore, i would swear it was that time of the month for you.

      Nigel Vos - 2013-07-23 17:24

      GO LIONS! Fix the injustice of this past season.

      Matt Prinsloo - 2013-07-24 08:20

      Tyronne, if the top 5 Currie Cup teams have to contest Super Rugby, that would have meant that the Cheetahs were out in 2013 and Griquas in...

      brian.coetzee - 2013-07-24 10:38

      Actually the Cheetah's and Griquas combine for super 15, so six of one, half a dozen of the other.

  • Nico Pretorius - 2013-07-23 15:49

    GO LIONS!!! Let's crush them on their home ground :)

  • Ronnie Du Plessis - 2013-07-23 15:52

    And Puke Watson got paid a Million a match with his 4 matches he played for the Kings not bad going for a has been !!!!!!

      Brutus Roy - 2013-07-24 10:02

      Ronnie, where do you get your information from, the rubbish dump?

  • Heresmy Finger - 2013-07-23 15:59

    ek dog eers dis Lions A vs Lions B in die relegation. Toe sien ek dit se Queens. Go Lions A!

  • Awie Bothma - 2013-07-23 16:08

    All I'm saying is that a lot of big teams would love that loose-trio of the Kings. Statistics showed that all three of them were up there with the big boys, Kiwi's and Aussies included!

  • Jacques Cilliers - 2013-07-23 16:17

    The lions team look solid, it's time to show the kings how rugby is played - LIONS SYLE !!!!!!! lions by 20+ Poor old Steven Sykes made a poor move to kings, from starting for the Sharks last year, now he is on the Bench lol - what a career destroying move hahaha LIONS FOR LIFE !!!! !

  • Marko Miladinovic - 2013-07-23 16:37

    Should be 2 good games. I for one was against the Kings inclusion but they realy impressed me this season. 3 wins and a draw is not bad at all. It will be sad to see them go but I will still be supporting the Lions on Saturday!

      Sean Bagley - 2013-07-23 16:52

      Kings have a decent looking pack there,but their backline looks a bit iffy.Plenty of kicking options for the Kings

      Marko Miladinovic - 2013-07-23 17:07

      At the start of the season I would have said that the Lions would have a walk in the park, but now I think it will be tough! The Lions have had a good season their strongest team losing only to the Bulls. Their Vodacom Cup side started badly even losing to The Valke. Then all their internationals were cancelled and they then made easy meat of the Vodacom cup, beating WP and the Blue Bulls easily and beating a weakend Sharks side. So I think the Lions could get back!

  • Riaan Van Der Merwe - 2013-07-23 16:42

    Lyk na n redelik span van die kings! Al die beste en mag die beste span wen. Sharks forever!

  • Lucas Vaatjie Swanepoel - 2013-07-23 16:47

    GO LIONS!!!

  • Leon Young - 2013-07-23 16:52

    kings by 20

  • Brendan Van Der Weide - 2013-07-23 17:38

    Lions will start strongly, take the lead, Kings will catchup by halftime and break away in 2nd half. Kings by 10

  • karldup - 2013-07-23 20:05

    I support EP Rugby (I stay in PE), but not the King's. This is as a direct result of the methods used in including them in Super 15. Will not support them against the Lions either, they have not won the lower league that earns them the right on a promotion relegation match against the Lions.

      Brendan Van Der Weide - 2013-07-23 23:59

      do you support the Sharks as a franchise? Did they 'earn' the right to play in the top echelons of SA Rugby or was the need for a top team in natal recognised by administrators who then promoted them too. No different to the Kings issue. Actually it is different, the Sharks were helped and supported - not left to fend for themselves with only 1 year to establish themselves. Setup to fail!

      Karl Du Preez - 2013-07-24 06:44

      @Brendan, I support the Sharks, they did their time in the B division and proved their worth. They were not promoted to the top division at the expense of one of the biggest rugby unions with a rich tradition. You cannot compare what happened to the Sharks in the early 1990s, rugby wasn't professional back then, and the then Natal won the currie cup in 1990 and 1995. What about SWD, Griquas or Boland? Why are they not promoted this for all their efforts? There must be set structures for promotion. The Kings were set up to fail and unfortunately I cannot get excited (as a lot of people are) about their season. They came last and that is mediocre. Please note I am a big EP and NMMU supporter, and one day when the KIngs rigtfully earn their spot, I will buy my shirt and sit in the new stadium every weekend.

      Matt Prinsloo - 2013-07-24 08:23

      @Karl, Griquas and Boland do not have to earn their spots. They are already part of and benefit from Super Rugby franchises. SWD is part of the Kings.

      Brutus Roy - 2013-07-24 10:11

      Thanks Bredan, we all see and remember what we want to. Karl, wrt your second comment, and EP did not have a rich tradition? They played poorly and paid the price. The Lions played poorly and they paid the price. Just to inform you, rugby in the 90's was professional, maybe not paying as much as today, but they were paid. I don't think the Kings need supporters like yourself, so stay at home please. Your absence will be missed in a Lions stadium were no attends the games, but not in PE.

      karldup - 2013-07-24 11:08

      @ Brutus, I did not say EP did not have a rich tradition, I simple meant that in the past nearly thirty years they have not achieved anything remotely significant other than beating Northern Transvaal once in the 80ties and winning a couple of club champs. These performances doesn't justify the decision taken wrt Super Rugby. And you are right, the Kings don't need supporters like me, like I stated very clearly....I am not. All I want is a structured approach to promotion relegation, not an ad-hoc decision every year on who will fill the last spot. That's not very professional and it doesn't allow any strategic planning for any rugby union. What's next, perhaps give Border an opportunity next year?

      Matt Prinsloo - 2013-07-24 11:38

      @Karl, verstaan jy hoe die franchise setup werk? Jy verwys na SWD, Grens, Griquas en Boland. Maar hulle is reeds deel van franchises ou boet. SWD, Grens en OP het gelyke aandele in die Southern Kings. Griquas, Vrystaat en Griffons vorm die Cheetahs. Boland is deel van die Stormers.

      karldup - 2013-07-24 14:10

      Matt, ek verstaan dit heeltemal, maar dis nie die punt wat ek probeer maak nie. Die punt is die ongestruktueerde (hoop dis reg gespel?) manier waarop SA Rugby besluite neem (in die verband), daarmee het ek 'n probleem. Bv: Laas jaar is Super 15 status aan Kings gegee, hierdie jaar is daar promosie relegasie, wat gebeur volgende jaar...Super status vir Limpopo of weer promosie relegasie.....wie teen wie? Met hulle metodes is enigiets moontlik....selfs die toelating tot Super Rugby van 'n sub-unie? Hulle moet tot die punt kom, maak 'n besluit oor die stelsel en implimenteer dit. Dan kan niemand vingers wys nie en ek kan my Kings trui gaan koop en ophou moan.

      karldup - 2013-07-24 14:14

      My last comment on this. Currently the EC cannot economically support a franchise like the Kings, but there are a couple of Mega projects currently in development in the EC (renewable energy, Nuclear Power Plant, oil refinery, FAW Truck company,etc) and that will hopefully give the necessary financial injection into the region which will enable us to one day compete with the larger unions.

  • Kailin Sampson - 2013-07-23 21:51

    A little off topic, but if the kings don't play super rugby next year, do you guys think any of the other franchises will be looking to sign Wimpie Van der Walt?? He has really impressed this season. I wouldn't mind if my Bulls sign him. Just a thought, no offense to the kings.

  • Edu Kleyn - 2013-07-24 06:05

    After the Kings have lost the game,Cheeky Watson will appeal to all his buddies in the ANC,they will then make some stupid statement that racism was the cause of the Kings poor performance in the super 15,and that they will withdraw their support from Sarfu if the Kings are not given another chance.Let us see how true my prediction is.

      Brutus Roy - 2013-07-24 10:15

      Edu, stop making excuses already, and if they lose then "Cheeky paid ref" would be your comment next week. Lets see how true my prediction is.

  • brian.coetzee - 2013-07-24 11:24

    Finally! After waiting a whole season to see the Lions face up to the Kings I must admit I am quite anxious, the Kings have played with a lot of passion. I really respect them for the way they have performed in their first season, and their supporters can be really proud of their team irrespective of the politics involved. The Kings are battle hardened from a full season of Super Rugby, and the Lions have built a winning culture this season, granted some could say it's against lesser teams, but they have also played and beaten Samoa, the Cheetahs and the Sharks, only the Bulls have beaten them this year. I have left out the Kings and the Stormers, as they did not play their strongest available team. At home the Kings should be favourites to scrape through, but the Lions have played some entertaining and winning rugby this year, and they are more experienced in the "big game" department, and this game is really huge. It is a real shame there is only place for one the the two teams. A real tough one to call. Go Lions!!!

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