Bandise Maku tipped to pack down for Southern Kings

Bandise Maku during the Springbok training session on 15 June 2010, at the Warren Township High School (WTHS) in Witbank, South Africa. Picture: Gallo Images
Bandise Maku during the Springbok training session on 15 June 2010, at the Warren Township High School (WTHS) in Witbank, South Africa.
Picture: Gallo Images

Bustling former Springbok hooker Bandise Maku could be on his way back to Port Elizabeth to pack down for the Southern Kings next season.

Maku, who is at the Blue Bulls, is said to be on a list of players the Kings are targeting for Super Rugby.

Born in KingWilliam’s Town, the 31-year-old Maku would bring valuable experience to the Kings as they try to punch their weight in Super Rugby.

So far the Kings have only signed seven players, but it is said they are aiming to assemble a squad of between 40 and 45 players.

Meanwhile, Eastern Province centre Jeremy Ward, who has been signed to play for the Sharks next season, is among the nominations for the Junior Springbok Player of the Year award.

Ward, who captained the Baby Boks at the Junior World Cup in England, has been nominated along with Curwin Bosch and Manie Libbok.

This year Ward made his Super Rugby debut for the Southern Kings and also played for the Eastern Province in the Currie Cup qualifiers and for the EP U21 team.

A wide array of players were nominated in the various categories of the SA Rugby Player of the Year Awards, and with Curwin Bosch, Ruan Combrinck, Seabelo Senatla and Warren Whiteley being nominated in two categories each, the list of nominees still has a distinct Golden Lions flavour to it.

Brent Janse van Rensburg, who coached the EP Currie Cup team last year before moving to Boland, has been nominated in the Coach of the Year category.

Six players from the Golden Lions – Combrinck, Whiteley, Jaco Kriel, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Malcolm Marx and Elton Jantjies – were nominated, while Super Rugby runners- up the Lions made the top three in the Team of the Year category and Johan Ackermann has been nominated as Coach of the Year for a fourth consecutive year.

The nominees are: SA Rugby Player of the Year: Ruan Combrinc, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Jaco Kriel, Warren Whiteley Young Player of the Year: Cur win Bosch, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Malcolm Marx, RG Snyman, Seabelo Senatla.

Team of the Year: Lions (Super Rugby), Springbok Sevens, Free State Cheetahs (Currie Cup Premier Division). Coach of the Year: Johan Ackermann ( Golden Lions), Brent Janse van Rensburg (Boland), Neil Powell (Springbok Sevens).

Junior Springbok Player of the Year: Curwin Bosch,Manie Libbok, Jeremy Ward .

SA Sevens Player of the Year: Kyle Brown, Seabelo Senatla, Rosko Specman. Super Rugby Player of Year: Ruan Combrinck (Lions), Elton Jantjies (Lions), Warren Whiteley (Emirates Lions).

Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year: Huw Jones (Western Province), Nico Lee (Cheetahs), Ox Nche (Cheetahs).

Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year: Masixole Banda (Border), Johan Deysel (Leopards), George Whitehead (Grif fons).

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