Kings sign contract extensions with promising quartet

Port Elizabeth - Winger Yaw Penxe, loose-forward CJ Velleman, hooker Tango Balekile and centre Sibusiso Sithole have all committed their future to the Southern Kings as the Port Elizabeth-based side continues to build a strong squad going into the 2019/20 PRO14 season.

Penxe, who was one of the Southern Kings' standout players, finishing as top try-scorer with eight tries, has signed a two-year extension with the side he initially joined in the 2017 Super Rugby season.

Since turning professional, the 22-year-old has represented the South Africa under-20 team and has amassed close to 50 caps for the Southern Kings in both Super Rugby and the PRO14.

The 24-year-old Velleman, who is widely regarded as one of the most exciting openside flankers in South Africa, has extended his commitment to the Southern Kings by another three years.

The hard-grafting loose-forward, who showed great character after returning from a two-year injury layoff when he made his PRO14 debut in his side’s first victory of the 2018/19 season against Glasgow Warriors in September, will again prove to be a vital part of the Eastern Cape side going forward.

Sithole, a former Springboks Sevens star, has also extended his stay at the Southern Kings where the 28-year-old will look to continue the great form he displayed in the latter stages of the 2018/19 season.

Balekile, 23, who was part of the SA under-20 side in 2016, has re-signed with the Southern Kings for another three years until 2022.

Southern Kings Director of High Performance, Rob Kempson, expressed his excitement at the contract renewals of the four players.

"We are pleased that Yaw Penxe, CJ Velleman, Tango Balekile and S'bura Sithole have committed to staying and being a part of the exciting squad that we are building for the future," said Kempson.

"These are quality players who have proven their worth in the Southern Kings jersey. We look forward to their continued growth, commitment and dedication towards a competitive team."

Kempson also confirmed that negotiations with other players for contract renewals and recruitment of new personnel are still in progress, and further developments would be announced in due course.