Southern Kings players, Tomas Leonardi, Nicolas Vergallo and Jaco Engels have all been called up to represent their respective national teams.
Argentinean nationals Leonardi and Vergallo will both be heading to Argentina to join the National Senior Team from the 2nd of June to the 23rd of June, while Engels, who holds South African citizenship but also qualifies to represent Namibia, has already left for Windhoek, where he will be playing in the Namibian side’s final preparation match on Saturday.
Engels will then be travelling with the Namibian squad, the Welwichias, to take part in the CAR 1B tournament in Senegal, which runs from the 8th to the 16th of June. The winner of this tournament will advance to Pool 1A for 2014 and the winner of that pool will qualify for the Rugby World Cup in 2015.
Eastern Province Rugby President, Cheeky Watson, said he was extremely proud of the accomplishments of the three players.
“They are all extremely talented players who have contributed to the Southern Kings in our debut season and we wish them everything of the best while they are on tour,” he said.
Director of Rugby, Alan Solomons, said he was delighted for all three players.
“Tomas has had a bit of a difficult time, having battled with a long term rib injury, but he seems to be recovering well and is getting over it, and it will be a great opportunity for him to get a run of matches,” he said.
“Nicolas has done really well and has contributed significantly when he has been on the field, and I think this is a great opportunity for both of them,” he said.
Solomons said he was also happy for Engels. “Jaco has not had as much game time with the Southern Kings, and this is a great opportunity for him to get back into the swing of things,” he said.
All three players will be on tour with their national sides during the June Super Rugby break, and will still be eligible for selection for the remaining games of the season.