The Southern Kings will be boosted with the arrival of experienced prop Schalk van der Merwe, who will report for Super Rugby duty as soon as his stint with the Barbarians is over.
Van der Merwe, who is known as ‘Hond’ amongst team-mates, will add even more experience to the Kings’ front row, where he will link up with, amongst others, Schalk Ferreira and Chris Heiberg.
The 25-year-old Van der Merwe’s most recent playing stint was with Montpellier in France, but he has previously played provincial rugby for the Free State Cheetahs, Down Touch Griffons and Xerox Golden Lions.
It’s his 25 Super Rugby caps for the Lions in 2014 and 2015 though that made Van der Merwe such a valuable prospect for the Southern Kings.
“Every team needs experience in the front row and it is great to have a player with such pedigree join us in Port Elizabeth” said Southern Kings head coach Deon Davids.
Davids also confirmed that two outside backs from the Sharks, former Junior Springbok Wandile Mjekevu and Neil Maritz, will be available for the Southern Kings next year.
“Wandile was on loan with us earlier this year and he made an immediate impact, so it’s great to have him back. Neil has come through the ranks at the Sharks and is a young, but very exciting player to have available. I’m looking forward to having them in the squad.”
Van der Merwe, Mjekevu and Maritz are the latest names to be confirmed by the Southern Kings, after it was announced last week that Heiberg (prop), Irné Herbst (lock), Wandile Putuma (lock), Garrick Mattheus (flyhalf), Yaw Penxe (wing) and Sintu Manjezi (flank / lock) will join the squad in Port Elizabeth.