Following today's exciting news that the South African teams will join the newly expanded Guinness PRO14, we take a look at the new boys.
Southern Kings (Conference B)
Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Stadium: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (Capacity: 48,459)
Head Coach: Deon Davids
Southern Kings were formed in 2009, to coincide with the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa. In their first fixture, they faced Ian McGeechan’s side in a midweek fixture, where they were 20-8 by a side containing Cardiff Blues’ Andy Powell. South African international Jaco van Der Westhuyzen scored the Kings’ first ever points.
Based in Port Elizabeth, Southern Kings play at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, a 48,000+ capacity stadium which also held eight games during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
In 2011, they participated in the IRB Nations Cup, under the name ‘South African Kings’, and lifted the cup following wins over Georgia, Romania and Portugal.
Ahead of the 2013 Super Rugby season, it was announced that the Kings would replace Lions, beating Australian outfit, Western Force, in their opening game.
Demetri Catrakilis, who would go on to play for Montpellier and Harlequins, finished the season as the Kings’ top point scorer, but a 44-42 aggregate defeat to Lions in the end-of-season play-off saw them relegated from Super Rugby.
Kings returned to Super Rugby in 2016, and appointed head coach Deon Davids for the season.
Notable players who have represented the Kings include Luke Watson, Cornell du Preez, Francois Hougaard, Jacobie Adriaanse, Hadleigh Parkes and Rynier Bernardo.
Interesting stat: Kings forced the most turnover during the 2017 Super Rugby regular season.
You can watch Conference A opponents Toyota Cheetahs at Cardiff Arms Park in the 2017-18 season. Cardiff Blues Season Memberships are on sale now with prices starting at just £190 for adults. Buy yours today!