AFTER being deemed “surplus to requirements” by the Stormers, Scott van Breda and Siviwe “Shakes” Soyizwapi have been hastily bundled into the EP Kings team to face the Kenyan Simba Tusker side in a Vodacom Cup match in Cape Town on Saturday.
The dynamic backline duo, both of whom played Super Rugby for the Southern Kings last year, will add extra pace and flair to the Kings’ attack as they bid to make a winning start to their Cup campaign.
Van Breda and Soyizwapi have been part of the Stormers training squad but were left out of the Cape team’s final lineup for their overseas Super Rugby tour which starts with a match against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.
However, there is still a chance that Soyizwapi and Van Breda will be called back to the Stormers later in the season and they will value the game time they will get against the tough-tackling Kenyans.
“Because they did not travel with the Stormers, this was a great opportunity to make use of Shakes’ and Scott’s services against the Tuskers,” Kings Vodacom Cup coach Mzwandile Stick said when he named his team.
“They need game time and they might still get a call-up because Super Rugby is very physical and anything could happen on tour. So it is a good chance for us to use them because they need to be game fit.
“We cannot hold players back, so if they get a chance to play Super Rugby we will always be willing to release them,” Stick said.
The team, which will be captained by the imposing Stephan Zaayman, also includes 34-year-old Tiger Mangweni who has come out of a short- lived retirement to add extra stability to the Kings’ backline.
“We do not know what to expect from the Tuskers on Saturday,” Stick said. “We have managed to get some clips of them last year when they played against Zimbabwe, but they now have a South African coach who may have put new structure on their game plan.
“One thing we know is that it will be tough, because for some of the Kenyans it is a passport to go to different countries. Now that they are playing in a South African competition there is a good chance for them to be spotted by other South African franchises. The fact that Tiger is back gives us more experience and his presence will boost us.”
The EP Kings team is: Brendon Olivier, Albe de Swardt, Vukile Sofisa, Kuhle Sonkosi, Brendan Hector, Thembelani Bholi, Claude Tshibidi, Stephan Zaayman (capt), Kelvano King, Ntabeni Dukisa, Lance Louw, Tiger Mangweni, Scott van Breda, Eben Barnard, Siviwe Soyizwapi. Replacements: Tabbie du Plessis, Pieter Stemmet, Tyler Paul, Siphesihle Phunguzwa, Dwayne Kelly, Brian Skosana, Selwyn Davids. – George Byron