The Southern Kings are struggling to field a full squad less than 3 weeks out from their first fixture.
Wales Online is reporting that the former Super Rugby side barely have fifteen as they join back to prepare for the new season. A lot of people are delighted with the inclusion of these Southern Hemisphere teams but it seems it’s going to be quite difficult for the Kings to prepare fully and really have a proper go at winning games.
The Kings have lost quite a few key players since they played their last competitive game in Super Rugby. Their captain, Lionel Cronje has moved to Japan to play club rugby whilst impressive flanker, Chris Cloete, has moved to Munster.
The Southern Kings only returned to training yesterday ahead of their first game against champions scarlets on September 2nd. Head coach, Deon Davids recently admitted that preparations are not going to plan in an interview with SA rugby magazine
“We’ve retained about 15 players from our original squad,”
“We’ve lost a lot of quality, and will have to act quickly if we’re going to build a new team core.
“I will be reaching out to the different franchises to see if any players are available. It’s going to be hard to get players now, though, because so many of them are already contracted and settled at other unions.
“We won’t have the luxury of going into the new competition with combinations or momentum.”
The other South African side coming into the Pro 14, The Cheetahs, are going to have to field two teams, one in the Pro 14 and one in the South African Currie Cup and according to SA Rugby Chief Executive Jurie Roux the Pro 14 side will get preference
“If there is a clash, the Pro14 will take priority,” Roux said at the launch of the Pro 14 last week
It doesn’t seem like either South African side will be at 100% going into the new season which would make you wonder why they were brought into the competition so quickly.