Super Rugby preview: Kings

    2016-02-27 12:50

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - Deon Davids surely has the most unenviable job in South African rugby. The Kings coach only had his squad finalised last month and now he must have them prepared for a tournament in which they will play all five New Zealand franchises. The Kings, quite simply, are a shambles. Financial troubles have all but destroyed the union, and SARU has had to step in and salvage the situation by contracting a group of players in an attempt to form a Super Rugby squad. As a result, not much is expected to come out of Port Elizabeth this season results-wise. It is not the fault of the players, though, and they will be giving their all. 

    Coach: Deon Davids

    Captain: Steven Sykes

    Last season: n/a

    Grouped with: Sharks, Lions, Jaguares

    Potential strengths: The only good thing to come out of this is that the Eastern Cape now has a Super Rugby franchise. How it happened is not ideal, but the fact that it has happened is perhaps most important. On the field, the Kings have nothing to lose. None of the critics are expecting them to achieve anything, and they are expected to fight it out with the Sunwolves for last spot on the combined log. That means that they can approach every game without fear, which could work in their favour.

    Potential weaknesses: Well, where do we start? This squad was thrown together at the last-minute and is well short on pre-season preparation. Super Rugby is a long season, and unless sides are conditioned properly they will hurt. The Kings, unfortunately, are nowhere near prepared enough and are likely to run out of gas before the other sides. 

    Players to watch: Steven Sykes is 31-years-old and his Super Rugby experience will prove vital. In him, the Kings at least have a leader that does not come with the baggage of a Luke Watson. The Kings also boast Schalk Ferreira in the front row, while there are also a couple of exciting players in their backline. Keep an eye on flyhalf Elgar Watts, in particular. 

    Realistic aim: The Kings are in a tough group. If they could get a few wins under the belt and steer clear of being the worst side in the competition, it will surely be a success. 

    Players contracted by SARU: Thembelani Bholi, Tom Botha, Aidon Davis, JP du Plessis, Jacques Engelbrecht, Schalk Ferreira, Louis Fouché, Shane Gates, Siyanda Grey, James Hall, Cornell Hess, Malcolm Jaer, Kevin Luiters, Edgar Marutlulle, Tyler Paul, Sipato Junior Pokomela, Steven Sykes, Cyril-John Velleman, Elgar Watts, Stefan Watermeyer, Stefan Willemse

    First fixture: February 27, Sharks (h)






    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    Friday, 23 March 2018
    • Crusaders v Bulls, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Rebels v Sharks, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 March 2018
    • Sunwolves v Chiefs, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Hurricanes v Highlanders, Westpac Stadium 08:35
    • Stormers v Reds, Newlands Stadium 17:15
    • Jaguares v Lions, Velez Sarsfield 23:40
    Friday, 30 March 2018
    • Chiefs v Highlanders, Waikato Stadium 08:35
    • Rebels v Hurricanes, AAMI Park 10:45


    Rank Team P W Pts


    “The Reds were not allowed to board a flight from Brazil to Johannesburg because they had not received yellow fever vaccinations. ”

    Opinion Poll

    Who will finish top of the SA Conference in this year's Super Rugby tournament?

    Can you name the top Super Rugby tryscorers of all-time?

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.