Kings stock up on new recruits
NEWS: Former Junior Springbok lock Irné Herbst along with five other players have put pen to paper with the Super Rugby franchise the Southern Kings.
Herbst, who played for the SA Under 20 side in 2013 and represented Currie Cup finalists, the Blue Bulls, this season, will provide necessary grunt up front. He will be backed up by the experienced Chris Heiberg, a prop with experience of Super Rugby at the Stormers and Western Force over the last four seasons.
Another edition to the Southern Kings’ tight five is Wandile Putuma, who made his mark for the Border Bulldogs’ age-group teams before a brief move to Kimberley, where he represented Griquas in the First Division this year.
These three experienced players will be joined by three youngsters which have come through the Eastern Province Academy structures, namely Garrick Mattheus (flyhalf), Yaw Penxe (wing) and Sintu Manjezi (flank / lock).
Mattheus was a member of the EP squad that won the SA Rugby U19 Championship in 2015, while Penxe, who was still at school last year, played for the EP U19s this year. Manjezi has come through the EP structures and represented the province at U16, U18, U19, U21 and senior levels.
"It’s encouraging to see these players keen to sign up to get a taste of Super Rugby," said Southern Kings coach Deon Davids.
"Irné [Herbst], Chris [Heiberg] and Wandile [Putuma] will provide some experience and it’s especially pleasing to see players progressing through our academy structures to senior rugby.
"Garrick [Mattheus] had a very good U21 season and I believe he’s ready to make the step up, while Sintu is a versatile and explosive player and I believe he can make an impact for us next year.
"Yaw [Penxe] might still be young, but I’m very excited about his prospects – other youngsters have proven in the past that if you’re good enough, you’re old enough and I believe he can follow in their footsteps.
"We’re in the process of finalising contracts with a number of other players and we’re also busy putting together a list of players who we would like to form part of the wider squad on a trial basis,"