Kings call on young blood

Wed, 06 Nov 2013 10:16
Large brad mooar   matt sexton Large matt sexton smiles

The Kings have called up 11 young players from the junior structures in the Eastern Cape into their training squad for 2014.

The Kings have called up 11 young players from the junior structures in the Eastern Cape into their training squad for 2014.

Whilst senior players such as Luke Watson, Andries Strauss and Steven Sykes were also named in the squad, some players may be released to play for other Super Rugby franchises during the 2014 season, although the Kings were not able to give an indication who those players would be.

Coach Matt Sexton said that he is happy with the blend of youth and experience in the squad.

"I'm really positive in terms of the makeup of the squad. We have a good core group of senior players and a whole lot of aspirational young players who are looking to be successful.

"I think that if you have that mix, it's a very potent mix for developing for the future," he said.

Sexton said he felt that, should the December decision relating to the EP Kings promotion to the Currie Cup end with a favourable result, he was confident that the squad would be able to do well in the competition.

He explained that many of the new players in the squad had come through their junior structures, which is an encouraging sign.

"The majority of the new faces that you will see in the squad, have transitioned in from the Under-21 and Academy, so that system is working very well. The philosophy that we've had around keeping them home and making sure that there is a legitimate pathway from our development structures into our main squad is alive and well," he said.

"In terms of new players from outside the province, we haven't really gone with trying to recruit players from far and wide, but we have had some needs, and two players from outside the province, Jaco Grobler and BG Uys, from the Leopards, have joined us," he said.

Sexton said that while a number of players had returned to practice this week, after a three week break following the end of the First Division season, a number of the younger players had been released to train at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, with the Madibaz, in preparation for the Varsity Cup next year.

"A number of our younger players are in the NMMU squad, and we felt that this was a good platform for them to showcase their talents in a fantastic competition. We're keeping tabs on them and we're working very closely with NMMU to make sure that the players development needs are met there, and we have a very good relationship with them," he added.

Kings squad: Timothy Agaba, Eben Barnard, Rynier Bernardo, Thembelani Bholi, Ofentse Boloko, Ronnie Cooke, Aidon Davis, Albé De Swardt, Charl Du Plessis , Ntabeni Dukisa, Schalk Ferreira, Samora Fihlani, Shane Gates, Lizo Gqoboka, Siyanda Grey, Jaco Grobler, Andile Jho, Simon Kerrod, Michael Killian, Siyanda Mangaliso, Siyabonga Mangweni, Darron Nell, Lonwabo Ntleki, Brenden Olivier, Devin Oosthuizen, Sergeal Petersen, Paul Schoeman, Brian Skosana, Kuhle Sonkosi, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Pieter Stemmet, Andries Strauss, Steven Sykes, Claude Tshidibi, BG Uys, Scott Van Breda, Marlou Van Niekerk, Kayle Van Zyl, Luke Watson, George Whitehead, Stefan Willemse.