EXTRA punch has been added to the EP Kings back division with the signing of dashing young Leopards flyers Luther Obi and Sylvian Mahuza.
Kings chief executive Charl Crous said following a commercial agreement between the two unions, Obi and Mahuza, who have been in Nelson Mandela Bay since January, would be released by the Leopards and contracted to the Kings.
They will be included in the EP Kings Vodacom Cup squad.
“We are pleased that we have been able to finalise these negotiations and that an amicable solution has been found for all parties, with both Luther and Sylvian now being part of the Kings family,” Crous said.
Crous said Eastern Province Rugby Union president Cheeky Watson and Leopards Rugby Union president André May had been in constant contact to negotiate the players’ transfer.
“At no point was there any malicious intent or deliberate acts to poach players from the Leopards, and we are really grateful to the Leopards for their willingness to engage us and assist in finding a way to resolve this matter amicably,” he said.
Obi, 21, originally from Nigeria, played most of his rugby in youth divisions for the Golden Lions.
His first-class debut came in 2013, when he ran out for the Leopards in their 2013 Currie Cup First Division match against the Falcons. That same year he was selected to play for the SA U20 side, scoring four tries in five appearances.
Last year, Obi was part of the Lions’ wider Super Rugby training squad.
Mahuza, also 21, hails from George and represented the SWD Eagles in the U16 Grant Khomo competition. He went on to represent them in the U18 Craven Week competition for two years in a row, in 2010 and 2011.
After school he moved to Potchefstroom, where he joined the Leopards and represented NWU Pukke in the Varsity Cup alongside Obi.
Mahuza was selected for the wider training squad for the SA U20 side in 2013 before the IRB Junior World Championships. He played against the Argentina side in the run-up to the event, but failed to make the final SA squad.