EP drop Banda over club games


STAR fullback Coyi Banda, who was one of the club players drafted into the EP Kings team to play Vodacom Cup rugby, has been left out of the team to play a Sharks 15 in Durban on Friday, for disciplinary reasons.

Kings coach Mzwandile Stick said Banda had not followed instructions that he should not play club rugby for African Bombers while he was part of the EP squad.

“The story about Coyi is that the guys who were part of my squad were not allowed to play club rugby. After we played against Boland, the next day he played against NMMU for his club, Bombers. Over the weekend he also apparently played in an Easter tournament in Queenstown,” Stick said.

“I was not happy about that and this week Coyi did not pitch up for training sessions. That is the discipline I am dealing with regarding club players. For this reason I am now giving a youngster like Malcolm Jaer a chance to play at fullback against the Sharks.

“I gave Coyi chances and spoke to him many times. I even spoke to him after I heard he played club rugby against NMMU. I asked him what he wanted in life and whether he wanted to be a professional.

“We have been fighting for these boys to give them an opportunity. Now they have this chance, they want to go back to where they came from. I do not understand what they want in life. If you want to play professional rugby you must do your best to stay there.

“I am disappointed with Coyi because I gave him chances and was happy with the way he was playing.”

Albe de Swardt will once again captain the side and Ntabeni Dukisa has been named as vice-captain. Stefan Willemse moves from open-side flank to lock, to stand in for Louis Fourie who is out following a fractured cheekbone sustained during the Boland game. Siphesihle Punguzwa moves from the bench to take his place in the team at open-side flank.

The Kings team is: Lizo Gqoboka, Albe de Swardt (capt), Pieter Stemmet, Stefan Willemse, Cameron Lindsay, Thembelani Bholi, Siphesihle Punguzwa, Aidon Davis, Dwayne Kelly, Ntabeni Dukisa, Sergeal Petersen, Andile Jho, Michael Bernardt, Eben Barnard, Malcolm Jaer. Replacements: Dane van der Westhuyzen, Simon Kerrod, Tyler Paul, Ivan-John du Preez, Kayle van Zyl, Morne Hugo, Brian Skosana. – George Byron


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