Kings land 'big' Shark

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 12:55
Large tim whitehead

Tim Whitehead, Michael van Vuuren and Hansie Graaff will all be joining the Kings over the coming months, along with Izak van der Westhuizen.

The Eastern Province Kings have confirmed three new signings ahead of their preparations for the Currie Cup Premier Division. 
 
Tim Whitehead, Hansie Graaff and Michael van Vuurenwill all be joining the Kings over the coming months, along with Izak van der Westhuizen whose signing has already been announced.
 
“We are very excited at these signings and are positive that these players will make a significant contribution in our Currie Cup endeavours as well as in our preparations for re-entry into Super Rugby in 2016,” said EP Kings CEO, Charl Crous. 
 
Versatile Sharks centre, Whitehead, will be returning home to take up the Red and Black hoops. Whitehead was born in Port Elizabeth and attended Grey High before studying at the University of Cape Town and then playing Super Rugby for the Stormers and Sharks.
 
While at Grey, Whitehead partnered explosive Springbok and Bulls star JJ Engelbrecht at centre.
 
He will be joined by fellow Sharks player, Graaff, who can play as a flyhalf, centre, wing or fullback.
 
Graaff, who originally hails from Pretoria, rose to prominence playing for a struggling TUT Vikings side in the Varsity Cup between 2010 and 2012 before joining the Griffons in 2012.
 
He quickly establishing himself as a first-team regular and made several appearances for them in the Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup, earning the title of Currie Cup First Division player of the year in 2012.
 
He was then included in the final Cheetahs squad for the 2013 Super Rugby season, but failed to make any appearances for them. He subsequently moved to the Sharks for the Currie Cup Premier Division last year, but missed the entire competition because of a knee injury. 
 
Now fit, Graaff will join the Kings when his contract with the Sharks ends in April.
 
Hooker Van Vuuren, who matriculated in 2009 from Grey High School in Port Elizabeth, will return home from France, where he has been playing for Stade Francais in the French Top 14, when his contract with them ends in June.
 
 “I had a couple of options overseas which I had a good long hard look at, but when the Kings opportunity came along, I jumped at the offer. I felt that the time was right to come home.
 
“The Kings are a franchise with a tremendous desire to succeed and this was clearly apparent in their Super Rugby campaign,” Van Vuuren said.
 
After representing EP at Craven Week, Van Vuuren rose to prominence when he played for the South African Under-20 team in 2011.
 
Van Vuuren played in the Grey 1st XV in 2008 and 2009, alongside Springbok Siya Kolisi who is also an Old Grey. Van Vuuren has also played Varsity Cup rugby for UFS Shimlas in the 2012 Varsity Cup.
 
He represented the Free State Cheetahs in the Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup in 2011 and 2012 seasons. 
 
 
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Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Suva
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Sharks v Leopards 15h00 Durban
Kings v Highlanders 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 17h10 Johannesburg
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Team P W D L Pts
Griquas 11 9 0 2 46
Western Province 10 9 0 1 42
Pumas 11 8 0 3 41
Boland 10 8 0 2 40
Golden Lions 10 5 1 4 31
Griffons 10 6 0 4 30
Free State Cheetahs 10 5 0 5 30
Blue Bulls 11 5 0 6 27
Eagles 10 5 0 5 26
Leopards 10 4 0 6 24
Border 10 4 0 6 20
Falcons 10 3 0 9 19
Sharks 10 3 0 7 18
EP Kings 10 2 1 7 12
Namibia 10 0 0 10 1