Cheetah to join Kings, via Edinburgh

Mon, 10 Mar 2014 11:53
Large izak van der westhuizen edi

The Eastern Province Kings have made their first big-name signing ahead of the Port Elizabeth team's return to the Currie Cup competition.

The Eastern Province Kings have made their first big-name signing ahead of the Port Elizabeth team's return to the Currie Cup competition.

Edinburgh confirmed that lock Izak van der Westhuizen will return to South Africa at the end of the season - at the end of May - to join the Kings.

The 28-year-old was signed by former head coach Michael Bradley ahead of the 2012/13 campaign, from the Cheetahs Super Rugby franchise.

His debut season in the Scottish capital was hampered by an ankle injury, limiting the big South African to six appearances after his early-December arrival.

However, he has gone on to make 19 starts in 24 appearances for the club to date.

During his second season, Van der Westhuizen and wife Bonita also celebrated the birth of their now six-month old daughter, and he explained the chance to move closer to home played a big part in his decision.

"I am very excited about the new challenge ahead for myself, said Van der Westhuizen, who is well known for his great line-out and restart abilities.

"In the last Super Rugby season I gained a lot of respect for the Kings and the way they are doing things in PE, and hope I can add to that in a positive way.

"I've really enjoyed my time at Edinburgh, especially in the last couple of months without injury," he added.

"I'm settled in Edinburgh and really enjoy the city, but I'm from a very tight-knit family and the chance to be closer to them was one of the biggest, most important reasons - we'll be a one hour away instead of 11.

"Scotland will always have a special place for me and I'll be able to look back on a lot of good times.

"Thanks to everyone for their support during my time here."

Head coach Alan Solomons added: "Sakkie Van der Westhuizen] has done a splendid job for us this year and will continue to do so until the end of the season.

"An opportunity has presented itself back in his home country that suits him and his young family. I'm sure he will make a valuable contribution at the Kings."

After following up promising showings in the South African Under-18 Academy, Van der Westhuizen was called up to the Cheetah's Under-19 and Under-21 sides before progressing to the senior squad at the age of 24 - with a Super Rugby debut against the Brumbies in 2010.

A groin injury meant he played only a handful of Super Rugby games during the 2011 season, but he returned to become a mainstay in the Cheetahs pack, starting all 12 of the Cheetahs matches in 2012.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand 22h10 Ascoli Piceno
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 7 7 0 0 34
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Sharks 7 5 0 2 25
Western Province 7 4 0 3 23
Golden Lions 7 4 0 3 22
Griquas 7 4 0 3 20
Boland 7 2 0 5 9
Pumas 7 0 0 7 5
EP Kings 7 0 0 7 1