Sykes psyched for Sharks clash

Tue, 05 Mar 2013 16:23
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Kings lock Steven Sykes is looking forward to playing against his former teammates when the Super Rugby newcomers face the Sharks on Saturday.

Southern Kings lock Steven Sykes is looking forward to playing against his former teammates when the Super Rugby newcomers face the Sharks on Saturday.

Sykes joined the Port Elizabeth franchise from the Sharks on a two-year deal as one of their marquee signings and was instrumental in their debut victory over the Western Force a fortnight ago.

The 28-year-old, who hails from Cradock in the Eastern Cape, began his career at the Sharks in 2005 and went on to become a two-time Currie Cup winner with the Durban team, who he represented in 109 Currie Cup and 69 Super Rugby matches.

The second row forward signed a three-year deal with Leinster but was released by the Irish club after just four appearances and rejoined the Sharks on a one-year contract before he opted to return to his roots by linking up with the Kings.

The move reunited Sykes with former Sharks teammate, Andries Strauss, who traded Bloemfontein for Port Elizabeth after two years at the Cheetahs, and the experienced pair form part of the leadership group of the Kings.

Sykes said he is relishing the encounter and believes they have earned the respect of the visitors as well as the other teams in the competition with their gutsy 22-10 home win.

“I think the people will treat us with a bit more respect than what they had before the season. I think we did very well in the first game that we played and we showed that we are here and we are here to stay. I don’t think people will send their second string sides down to us, so it’s a nice challenge for us as well,” Sykes said.

He added that he is also looking forward to playing in front of a full house at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

“The atmosphere at the game against the Force was amazing, probably the best I’ve experienced, and I am hoping that everyone will come out and support us again as we take on the Sharks,” he said.

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Fri, 27 November 2015
Leinster v Ulster 19h35 RDS Arena
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Edinburgh v Dragons 19h35 BT Murrayfield
Northampton Saints v Gloucester 19h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 28 November 2015
Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 15h00 Sandy Park
Ospreys v Cardiff Blues 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Saracens v Worcester Warriors 15h15 Twickenham
Munster v Connacht 17h15 Thomond Park
London Irish v Wasps 17h30 Twickenham
Sun, 29 November 2015
Scarlets v Zebre 14h30 Parc y Scarlets
Leicester Tigers v Bath 15h00 Welford Road
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26