Long-awaited milestone for Bezuidenhout

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 10:32
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Southern Kings hooker Martin Bezuidenhout looks set to finally reach his goal of amassing 50 Super Rugby caps.

When the Southern Kings take on Western Force at the nib Stadium in Perth on Sunday, the 27-year-old hooker will be eagerly awaiting an opportunity to get off the bench and onto the field to mark a half-century of Super Rugby appearances.

The bulk of his 49 caps came from his time at the Lions, where he debuted in 2010, and the Stormers, before joining the Southern Kings.

"My goal has been to reach my 50th Super Rugby cap this season," Bezuidenhout said from Perth.

"And also, definitely, to remain injury free throughout the year and just taking it day by day, giving my best to the team.

"It has been a dream from a young age to play professional rugby. It is a massive achievement for me personally to have an opportunity to reach this 50th Super Rugby appearance.

"Super Rugby is the best competition in the world, and in saying that, it's really a privilege for me to be living the dream and making a living out of doing something that I love so much."

While having played 49 Super Rugby matches so far will come with a number of memorable moments, Bezuidenhout's career highlight comes from the time he lifted the domestic Currie Cup title with the Golden Lions in 2011.

The hooker is also relishing his time with the Southern Kings, where he has been plying his trade since last year.

"The highlight of my career is definitely winning the Currie Cup with the Lions in 2011. What made it even more special was having my family with me to celebrate that achievement," the Klerksdorp-born hooker said.

"Being part of this good environment at the Southern Kings means a lot to me, especially the brotherhood we have created through my journey at the Kings. I love being part of this team.

Bezuidenhout said those closest to him has kept him going and motivated?

"The support from family my and fiancé, their presence and support for me throughout my career. They continuously inspire me to reach my goals."

Bezuidenhout will be on the bench on Sunday when the Southern Kings take on Western Force.

Head coach Deon Davids confirmed on Friday that Wandile Mjekevu, who had been bracketed with Masixole Banda as backline backup, will be the man to provide backline cover from the bench.

Mjekevu will be making his first Super Rugby appearance this year after nursing a foot injury since pre-season.

Southern Kings - revised: 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje (captain), 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Andisa Ntsila, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Justin Forwood, 19 Mzwanele Zito, 20 Tyler Paul, 21 Rick Schroeder, 22 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23 Wandile Mjekevu.

Date: Sunday, April 9
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 14.05 (08.05 SA time; 06.05 GMT)
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

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Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19