Kings points machine faces boot
Prolific Isuzu Southern Kings utility back Masixole Banda could be given the boot when the franchise announces the list of players they are planning to axe.
Banda, a regular in the Kings side, was the sixth leading scorer in the Guinness PRO14 last season amassing 100 points from 32 conversions and 12 penalties.
Though the list of players to be cut has not been made public, insiders said the long-serving Banda would not feature in the Kings’ plans for next season.
Another player said to be on the list is Fijian flyer Meli Rokoua, who delighted Kings fans with his acrobatic offloads when he was given a chance to shine in the PRO14.
On Wednesday the Kings announced that wing Yaw Penxe, loose-forward CJ Velleman, hooker Tango Balekile and centre Sibusiso Sithole had all committed their future to the Kings.
The Kings director of high performance, Robbi Kempson, said negotiations with other players for contract renewals and recruitment of new personnel were still in progress.
Speculation regarding the movement of players follows speculation that head coach Deon Davids could be on his way out at the struggling franchise.
In a terse statement on Tuesday, the Kings said: ” We can confirm that the Kings are in discussions with Deon Davids regarding his future options with the franchise.
More details will be shared if an agreement has been reached between the parties.”
Banda was a regular at flyhalf and fullback for the Kings and if he is not handed a new contract the franchise will have a big hole to fill.
Kempson said 20 players had been told they would not be offered contract renewals for next season’s PRO14.
“For the Kings to be competitive in the PRO14, we need to strengthen our squad with different players.”
Kempson said they were looking at signing former Kings and Stormers flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis, who plays for English club Harlequins.
“We are still in negotiations with Demetri’s agent and Harlequins, just to make sure everything is done according to the book, but we will reveal more about him next week.”
The Kings have confirmed the signings of Irish lock Jerry Sexton and flyhalf Courtney Winnaar, who made his debut for the Kings when they lost in Bloemfontein.
Banda played his school rugby at Ithembelihle High School in New Brighton and his potential was spotted early in his career.
He was named in the EP U19 squad for the 2009 Championship competition and played for them at U21 level during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Later he was also included in an EP Kings side that played against the South Africa Under-20 side in 2011, scoring 11 points in a 31–16 defeat.
Banda then joined club side African Bombers where his career continued to flourish.In 2014, the EP Kings announced that several club players would join their wider training squad for the 2014 Vodacom Cup.
Banda was included in the training squad and was subsequently included in their squad for the tournament.
Banda made his first class debut against the Border Bulldogs in Grahamstown, and scored two first-half tries on debut to help the Kings to a 60–6 against their Eastern Cape rivals.