Springbok Sevens players Mzwandile Stick and Mpho Mbiyozo have returned to the 15-man game and will join Eastern Province.
The pair were granted release from their Saru contracts to take up offers to join EP, and should the Southern Kings franchise get off the ground, they will surely feature as key members. Mbiyozo was particularly effective when the Kings played their first ever fixture against the touring British & Irish Lions last year.
Bok Sevens coach Paul Treu said he couldn’t stand in the way of the players’ goals. Stick and Mbiyozo won the IRB Sevens series with the Boks in 2008/09, but have never been able to establish themselves at a Super Rugby franchise.
‘We granted their release with a heavy heart, but they have achieved so much in Sevens and have ambitions that they wanted to fulfil in the 15-a-side game so we thought it only right to allow them the opportunity,’ Treu said. ‘I’m sure that the experience and skills they have acquired in Sevens will stand them in good stead, as well as their provinces, in future.’
Treu added he is already in the look out for two replacements.
‘Someone like Cecil Afrika has come through to be a star of the Series this season and we have also been able to test other young players. I have also spoken to some provinces about releasing their players when it comes to the Commonwealth Games championship in India in October.’