Having missed out on the 2012 Super Rugby season due to injury Springbok hooker Bandise Maku says that he is relishing the chance to play Super Rugby with the Southern Kings this season.
Maku joined the Southern Kings last year from the Lions where he suffered with a pectoral injury which kept him on the sidelines for months but now says he is excited about his prospects with the Kings.
"It's an exciting time for us as a team," Maku told iAfrica.
"And obviously also individually it is a big opportunity for me. I missed out last year through injury and now have a chance to play Super Rugby."
Maku made a name for himself with the Bulls but then crossed the Jukskei River and joined the Lions.
Joining the Southern Kings is something of a homecoming for the former Dale College pupil.
Maku says that the decision to join the Southern Kings last year was a rugby decision.
"For me, it's obviously a rugby decision," he said
"But it is also going to have a big impact for the Eastern Cape to have Super Rugby coming to the region. "
"It's obviously a big honour for me to come here and to try and contribute, but like I said, it was a rugby decision first and foremost. I wanted to play Super Rugby and the Kings have given me a chance to play."
The Kings have been gauranteed one season of Super Rugby and if they finish as the last placed South African team they will play the Lions in a promotion/relegation match but Maku says the team is not looking that far ahead.
"I think the biggest thing is the first game against the Force. We don't want to get too ahead of ourselves," he says.
"That game will give us the confidence going forward."
"There are guys who will be making their Super Rugby debuts in that match and it will be good for them to get that out the way. "