The Herald (South Africa)

George rugby fans in for treat when Kings face Munster

- George Byron

EXCITEMENT is building ahead of the Southern Kings’ first PRO14 match against Irish side Munster at Outeniqua Park on April 7.

This is the first PRO14 match to be played outside Port Elizabeth and a capacity 7 500 crowd is expected.

“This is an extremely exciting developmen­t for us and forms part of the Southern Kings’ mission to bring internatio­nal rugby to all our people,” Kings chief operating officer Charl Crous said.

“South Western Districts has always been a key component of our franchise and has not only provided us with passionate support but also a number of great players, and our head coach Deon Davids.

“The move is also part of a wider initiative to familiaris­e the broader rugby public with the PRO14 Championsh­ip brand,” Crous said.

“This is the first season of South African involvemen­t in the competitio­n, which also features the best Irish, Welsh, Scottish and Italian teams.

“Many local fans are still learning about the sides taking part and the many great internatio­nals they have in their lineups.

“The PRO14 is one of the fastest-growing brands in world rugby and the inclusion of the Southern Kings and the Cheetahs this season has made it possible for more fans to share in the excitement of internatio­nal franchise rugby.”

South Western Districts Rugby president Hennie Baartman also welcomed the news.

“Having the Kings play PRO14 rugby in George will not only be a huge boost for the city but also for the sport in the area.

“It will inspire our young players, to see icons of the game from up close, and I have no doubt that our people will embrace the occasion,” Baartman said.

George mayor Melvin Naik said: “The city of George is not only situated in a spectacula­rly beautiful part of the world, but is also well establishe­d in hosting internatio­nal sporting events.

“I am sure most rugby fans will recall the many years during which we hosted the South Africa leg of the HSBC IRB World Sevens Series and we see our partnershi­p with the Southern Kings as an extension of that fine tradition.

“The Munster team and their fans are in for an absolute treat when they arrive.”

The Kings’ strategy to take the PRO14 championsh­ip to different communitie­s saw them host Ulster at the Wolfson Stadium in Kwazakhele earlier this season.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa