Giant ready to 'rock' PRO14
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Lubabalo Mtyanda, a part-time musician and a full-time rugby player, is looking forward to the more abrasive type of game he will experience in the newly formed Pro14 competition.
The affable 31-year-old - who stands 1.99 metres (six feet, six-and-a-half inches) tall and tips the scale at 128 kilogramme (just over 20 stone) - spoke about the "excitement" and "positive" vibe in the Port Elizabeth-based franchise's camp.
Still recovering from a knee injury he suffered in the Super Rugby competition, he is hopeful of being available for the opening round of the competition - when they take on Pro12 champions Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli, on September 2.
The second row forward, affectionately known as giant, does not come from a rugby background.
He confirmed to rugby365 that he was into music and studied opera at school. In fact he still belts out a few songs with his baritone voice at the occasional wedding
While Mtyanda idolises famous Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti, he 'loves to smash' opponents on defence and hopes to 'rock' the Pro14.
There are currently no big record deals on the table, but he is hopeful of returning to his singing routes in the not too distant future.
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He had no hesitation in listing "physicality" as the stand-out feature of the European game for him.
"It is going to be more physical than what we are used to in Super Rugby, where the approach leans more towards evasive and running rugby," he said, adding: "There it is much more direct.
"There won't be that much stepping, because if the wet weather."
While most pundits will suggest the Kings played a more expansive game this past season, as they went on to win six games - three consecutive victories, including the Waratahs in Sydney.
However, Mtyanda said it was their versatility that made them successful.
"We used brute force, but also had an evasive backline. We used our power and skill,"
He said they are looking forward to taking on the Pro12 champion Scarlets in the opening round.
By Jan de Koning