The Southern Kings have signed lock Steven Sykes and centre Andries Strauss for the 2013 Super Rugby season.
Sykes and Strauss will make their exits at the Sharks and Cheetahs respectively. Both moves have been confirmed to keo.co.za and they will join the Kings after the Currie Cup.
The two players are the first to sign with the Eastern Cape franchise since they were awarded Super Rugby status in August. There are rumours that a few Argentine and New Zealand players are set to join the Kings in the near future.
Meanwhile, Cheetahs CEO Harold Verster believes Strauss will be one of the last players to depart from Bloemfontein this year.
They have already lost tighthead prop WP Nel (Edinburgh), No 8 Ashley Johnson (London Wasps) and lock George Earle (Scarlets) after Super Rugby, while flyhalf Sias Ebersohn (Western Force) and lock Izak van der Westhuizen (Edinburgh) will also make their moves following the domestic campaign.
‘We want to build on our achievements from this year’s Super Rugby,’ Verster told this site. ‘We have already extended most of our players’ contracts, while there will be a couple of more contract extensions made over the next few weeks.
‘We will also have some new players available in 2013, like [Blue Bulls] centre Johann Sadie.’
By Gareth Duncan