HARD-TACKLING EP Kings flank Paul Schoeman says he is itching to get his hands on a rugby ball as his team make final preparations for their Vodacom Cup showdown against Western Province in Cape Town on Saturday.
Schoeman has been on a conditioning programme with the Kings Currie Cup Premier Division squad, but has been drafted into the Vodacom Cup side to beef up the pack for what promises to be a tough encounter in Cape Town.
“I think I have fitted in well during the two sessions we have had so far and it is going well.
“I am hungry and fit and just want to play,” Schoeman said. “It is good to touch a ball again because we have been doing a lot of fitness with Currie Cup head coach Carlos Spencer to get ready for the Premier Division kick-off. This is a great opportunity for me to perform.”
Schoeman is highly rated in rugby circles and he is expected to be one of the players who will shine when the Kings square up against the big guns in South African rugby later this year in the Premier Division.
The Kings start their Premier Division campaign against Western Province at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on either August 8 or 9.
“I played in the Vodacom Cup last year but was injured in the game against the Pumas in Nelspruit. That put me out for eight months, but I was back for the Super Rugby warm-up games at the start of this season,” Schoeman said.
Kings Vodacom Cup head coach Mzwandile Stick believes Schoeman will add great value to his team as they look to make an impression in the Vodacom Cup.
“We know Paul will add a lot of value as a fetcher and give us an edge in the rucks. He will add value to our loose trio.”
The inclusion of Schoeman was one of three changes to the team that thumped the Border Bulldogs 60-6 in Grahamstown on Saturday.
Other additions to the side are tearaway wing Michael Killian who comes in for Eben Barnard, who has a calf injury, and Brendon Hector who replaces Rynier Bernardo at lock. Bernardo was given time off to attend a wedding.
“When we played against Border everything went to plan and the guys in the backline took their opportunities to score tries. This is what we want to achieve as a team,” Stick said. – George Byron