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Kings players desperate for action, star flank offers to play for free for Griquas

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CJ Velleman in action for the Southern Kings during a PRO14 match against Leinster at Nelson Mandela University Stadium on 4 November 2018.

Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

  • Southern Kings players are desperate to see some live rugby action.
  • Star flanker CJ Velleman has even opted to play for Griquas for free.
  • Director of rugby Robbie Kempson says he’s been in contact with local and overseas agents to get opportunities for the players.

Southern Kings players are so desperate for action that star flank CJ Velleman has even offered to play for free for Griquas.

This was revealed by director of rugby Robbie Kempson in an interview with the DispatchLIVE website.

It follows the weekend announcement by SA Rugby that the Kings had been placed into voluntary liquidation.

The shareholders – SA Rugby and the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) – took the decision in the face of an accumulated deficit of R55 million, and with zero income in prospect for the remainder of 2020.

Earlier, the franchise also withdrew from any planned domestic tournaments for the remainder of 2020.

While loose forward Elrigh Louw was quickly snapped up by the Bulls, other Kings players are still looking for a new team.

“To illustrate how desperate our players are, CJ Velleman was willing to take a complete salary cut on his own to play for free for Griquas. That is how desperate these players are just to play rugby,” Kempson said.

“A perfect example is CJ, who is in the prime of his life right now. He is fit and strong and ready to go, but he does not have a place to play. It is more frustration for him and I am hoping Griquas give him an opportunity.”

Kempson said he had been in contact with local and overseas agents to get opportunities for the players.

“We had some great news and one of our players does now have an opportunity overseas, thank God. There are also opportunities for one or two other players, but the problem is they have not played rugby since March. People want to see you play and they are not necessarily looking at videos from prior matches.”

– Compiled by Sport24 staff

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