EP Rugby CEO, Charl Crous, said he was positive about the season ahead.
“We are looking forward to see what this squad can deliver in the upcoming Vodacom Cup, and it is especially exciting to see the quality of the talent coming through from our junior structures,” he said.
New signings include Mthetheleli ‘Tazz’ Fuzani, the former Western Province lock, who returns to his home province, having been born in Uitenhage. Fuzani has signed with the Kings for two years.
Joining Fuzani is Western Province U21 flanker, Eital Bredenkamp – who captained the U21 side in the final against the U21 Blue Bulls side earlier this year – and lock Jan Uys, who captained the Western Province U19 side last year and played alongside Bredenkamp in the U21 competition this year.
Chief amongst the players who have renewed contracts with EP Rugby, include veteran CJ van der Linde, who has been instrumental in the improvement of the Kings scrum over the past season, as well as Tom Botha and Shaun McDonald who both received a two year extension.
Among those who have come up from the junior ranks include the powerful 21-year-old prop Enoch Mnyaka, who played for the Madibaz earlier this year, as well as Sphu Msutwana, Vukile Sofisa and Michael Bernardt. Kings Academy player, Armand du Preez jnr, measuring in at 2.05 meters, is also in the mix with utility back Marlou van Niekerk who has also returned to the squad after a lengthy absence.
Players who have left the squad include Devin Oosthuizen, BG Uys and Sergeal Petersen, who have moved to the Cheetahs, as well as Ntabeni Dukisa, who has moved to Griquas and Pieter Stemmet, who was loaned out to the Pumas earlier in the seaon.
Non renewals include Samora Fihlani, Ofentse Boloko, Tobie Botes, Kyle van Zyl, Dane van der Westhuizen and Lowabo Ntleki.
EP Kings pre-season squad:
Enrico Acker, Tim Agaba, Eben Barnard, Michael Bernardt, Thembelani Bholi, Tom Botha, Eital Bredenkamp, David Bulbring, Ronnie Cooke, Aidon Davis, Albé de Swart, Charl du Plessis, Armand du Preez, Martin Ferreira, Mthetheleli “Tazz” Fuzani, Shane Gates, Lizo Gqoboka, Hansie Graaff, Siyanda Grey, Jaco Grobler, Dwayne Jenner, Andile Jho, Simon Kerrod, Cameron Lindsay, Kevin Luiters, Charles Marais, Edgar Marutlulle, Shaun McDonald, Enoch Mnyaka, Siphumelele (Spu) Msutwana, Darron Nell, Brenden Olivier, Paul Perez, Paul Schoeman, Vukile Sofisa, Kuhle Sonkosi, Siviwe “Shakes” Soyizwapi, Steven Sykes, Claude Tshidibi, Jan Uys, Gary van Aswegen, Scott van Breda, CJ van der Linde, Marlou van Niekerk, Michael van Vuuren, Luke Watson, George Whitehead, Tim Whitehead, Stefan Willemse, Stephan Zaayman