Four key Kings players, including Springbok centre Waylon Murray, have signed deals that will take them to the Bulls.
SARugbymag.co.za understands that Murray, loose forward Jacques Engelbrecht, lock David Bulbring and hooker Bandise Maku have committed to the Bulls. The Pretoria union this week announced the signing of Cheetahs scrumhalf Piet van Zyl, who replaces the Toulouse-bound Jano Vermaak. The Bulls have lost nine players, seven of those Springboks, to foreign clubs and are working tirelessly to fill the voids.
They still require an experienced flyhalf to plug the hole Morné Steyn leaves, but that man is unlikely to be the Kings' Demetri Catrakilis, who this website understands is keen to return to Western Province.
The Kings are reeling at the moment, with director of rugby Alan Solomons on Wednesday confirming that he will take up the post of head coach at Edinburgh. They also face the prospect of losing their Super Rugby status if they fail to beat the Lions by eight points in the second leg of the promotion-relegation play-off at Ellis Park on Saturday.
However, even if they do manage the required margin of victory, they will struggle in Super Rugby next season given the exodus of quality players from the franchise and the likelihood that others of appreciable talent, such as Sergeal Petersen, Shaun Venter, SP Marais, Ronnie Cooke and Andries Strauss, will look elsewhere in furthering their careers.
Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Super Rugby preview: Stormers
The Stormers are under pressure to perform in 2015 after two disappointing seasons.
Super Rugby preview: Bulls
The Vodacom Bulls will still be in a transition phase in 2015 but should improve on last year's campaign.
Lessons from gridiron
Rugby needs to follow American football's lead and ensure refereeing subjectivity is kept to a minimum, writes JON CARDINELLI.