Stormers get the 'Shakes'
Stormers get the 'Shakes'SHARE
The Stormers have signed another Southern Kings player on a loan deal for the Super Rugby season.
Siviwe Soyizwapi has joined Kings utility Scott van Breda at the Cape Town-based franchise – a move that comes in the wake of the loss of injured fullback Jaco Taute.
The decision to call up Soyizwapi, affectionately known as Shakes, follows reports that Taute may be sidelined for a very long time with a knee injury that flared up after a 30-minute run in a pre-season outing.
The official line from the Stormers camp is that there is just 'slight swelling' to the tissues surrounding the knee, but this website has been reliably told that there are fears Taute may never play again.
While the Stormers said Taute need only rest for a week or so, the decision to call up the young Kings star seem to indicate there is more to it than just 'slight swelling'.
Kings boss Charl Crous confirmed Soyizwapi has been called up to the Stormers squad – where he will join Van Breda, who has been in Cape Town since he joined them on a pre-season trial.
Van Breda, like Soyizwapi, can play fullback and wing.
"Shakes left for Cape Town on Sunday [February 16] and will be joining the Stormers to provide cover for them at wing and fullback," the Eastern Province Rugby Union CEO, Crous, said in a statement.
Soyizwapi played for the Border Bulldogs at the Under-18 Academy Week in 2010, earning a call-up to the South African Under-18 High Performance team, before joining the Eastern Province Kings Academy.
He played for the EP Kings at Under-21 level in 2012 and 2013, finishing the latter competition as the top try scorer. He made his first class debut in the 2012 Currie Cup promotion/relegation series against the Free State Cheetahs.
Three appearances followed in the 2013 Vodacom Cup (scoring one try), as well as five appearances in the 2013 First Division competition – (where he scored three tries) before reverting to the U21 side for the remainder of the season.
Soyizwapi also played for the Southern Kings last year, filling in for the injured Hadleigh Parkes, making his Super Rugby debut in the 28–28 draw against the Brumbies in Canberra.
In October last year, Soyizwapi was called into an South African Sevens training squad, prior to the 2013 Dubai tournament.
Crous said he had received the request to loan Soyizwapi to the Stormers for their Super Rugby season, following the youngster's sterling performance against the Cape Town based Super Rugby side during their warm-up match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on February 7.
"We wish Shakes everything of the best and know that he will be a great asset to the Stormers," he said.
Crous said that Soyizwapi's call up showed, once again, that the Eastern Province was producing top quality talent and that EP Rugby was committed to their promise of identifying opportunities for their talented players to get Super Rugby experience ahead of the team's re-inclusion into the competition in 2016.
By Jan de Koning