'Greek God' signs for Kings

ON BOARD: Flyhalf Demitri Catrakilis has signed to play for the Southern Kings
ON BOARD: Flyhalf Demitri Catrakilis has signed to play for the Southern Kings

A "Greek God" with a booming boot has been summoned by the new owners of Isuzu Southern Kings to help kick of their ailing team out of trouble in the Guinness PRO14.

After months of speculation, it was announced on Wednesday that flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis would be leaving the English Premiership club Harlequins to help mastermind a Kings revival.

The 29-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the franchise, with the option of an extension at the end of June next year.

He will join the Kings in July.“

We are happy to announce that Demetri Catrakilis will be joining us for the upcoming season, bringing with him a wealth of experience in the flyhalf department,” Kings Director of High Performance, Robbi Kempson, said.

Catrakilis said he was excited to be returning to Port Elizabeth. “I’m extremely excited to be back at The Kings. I left a piece of my heart in PE when I left in 2013 and I’m pleased to have the opportunity to come back.

“I cannot wait to get to work with Robbi Kempson and the team to make this a successful forthcoming season.

“I’ve been following the Kings closely ever since I left and I’m looking forward to giving my all to the team and the supporters.”

Harlequins Head of Rugby Paul Gustard said: “Dim showed great mental strength to come back from a nasty injury last season and return to elite level rugby.

“We thank him for his contribution and wish him and his wife the very best in their next chapter.”

Last year Catrakilis said he feared for his life after suffering a throat injury playing for Harlequins.

Catrakilis, who was making his home debut for Harlequins against Gloucester, required oxygen after taking a shoulder to the throat early in the game.

Following a lengthy medical treatment, the 28-year-old was taken off the field on a stretcher while receiving oxygen before being taken to hospital.

Catrakilis called the incident “bad timing” when an opponent’s shoulder caught his throat.

“I was given oxygen on the pitch and taken off on a stretcher. But while I was coming off the field, I’d realised it wasn’t going to go away, and the 30-minute ride in the ambulance was probably the worst feeling because I just wasn’t too sure if I was going to be able to breathe a lot longer,” the flyhalf said.

“I’ve never felt anything close to that before. I was struggling to breathe. I wasn’t too sure if I was going to make it, at one stage. There was just no space in my airway. “It was just me fighting to get air. But we got to the hospital and they sorted me out.”