Farewell Steven

Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 19 May 2016 at 15:35
Tagged with : , , , ,

The Southern Kings announced yesterday the departure of stalwart lock and captain Steven Sykes, who has signed a two year deal with Frech club Oyonnax from the end of the Super Rugby season.

We got to know Sykes as a rugby player from his time at the Sharks. He successfully came through the ranks after moving to Durban to join the Sharks Academy in 2003. In 2005 he made his senior debut for the Wildebeest, as they were known then, and the rest is history.

In his seven years with the Sharks, Sykes established himself as a first choice lock. He played well over a hundred Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup matches including sixty nine Super Rugby matches for the Union. As a junior he was selected to represent South Africa at the Under 19 Rugby World Championship in 2003. In 2009 he played the British and Irish Lions wearing the Sharks and Emerging Springbok jerseys. He was later called up for Springbok duty in the third and final test in Cape Town. Sykes also won two Currie Cup medals with the Sharks, the first in 2008 and then again in 2010.

In 2013 he returned to the Eastern Cape, the region he is originally from, to be part of the Southern Kings’ first Super Rugby season.

Sykes was on loan to the Cheetahs for their 2015 Super Rugby campaign after the Southern Kings were relegated at the end of 2013, but returned to the Eastern Province Kings for the Currie Cup season.

Sykes played his 100th Super Rugby match for the Southern Kings in Round 5 when they faced the Hurricanes, but despite the 42 – 20 defeat Sykes was rewarded with a try.

Sykes said he had learnt a great deal while at the Southern Kings and was grateful for the opportunity to have captained the side this year.

“I have been playing professional rugby since 2004 and this has been one of my best years to date,” said Sykes.

“Everyone at the Kings has been very positive and playing with a group of young players, who are eager to learn and play top class rugby, alongside players like CJ Velleman and James Hall, has also inspired me and helped me to improve my game,” he said.

Sykes said he was sad to leave the Kings, and that Port Elizabeth would always be his home.

“You have to take the opportunities when they present themselves,” he said.

In closing Sykes said his focus had not changed, and he would remain committed to leading the Southern Kings until the end of the Super Rugby season.

We at Sharksworld would like to thank Steven for the memories and wish him all the best with his new venture.


  • Top man and player Steven Sykes…wish him well.

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.05.16 15:45:41 by SheldonK Reply
  • Best of luck Steven!

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.05.16 15:50:05 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Sharks can just as well bid him as fond a farewell as if he was still one of ours. A great team player. All the best Steven.

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.05.16 15:55:20 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Good luck Mr. Sykes! Always one of my favorite players even when he was playing against the Sharks!

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.05.16 18:59:51 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • Always enjoyed cheering for psycho Sykes whilst playing in black and white. Huge loss for the Kings.

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.05.16 19:57:42 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • All the best, Steven!

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.05.16 20:42:03 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • Always enjoyed this player. Solid lock, and bagged a surprising number of tries in his career.

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.05.16 21:11:00 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • Good luck to him, and thank you for the years of service. I guess his time to earn a bigger package has come as his career enters the second half.

  • Comment 8, posted at 20.05.16 05:09:35 by Farlington Reply

  • This a very strange one ,Steven left us very much the same as PSDT because the lure of the home farm was too strong to resist.
    Seems that he quickly got over that and can cope with the separation way across the globe in Europe a lot easier than up the road in Durban.
    Something doesn’t add up here.

  • Comment 9, posted at 20.05.16 08:39:11 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 9) : That was years ago, after giving the Sharks years of great service. Much could have changed on the farming side of things in the interim.

  • Comment 10, posted at 20.05.16 08:44:01 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 10) : I always rated Sykes and felt he was another victim of the Bethlehem cabal.
    I am just surprised that if he was available again the Sharks did not try and secure his services,he would be the perfect cover for our only weakness quality depth in the second row.

  • Comment 11, posted at 20.05.16 08:50:29 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 11) : that should have been potgieter.starter in no7 and back-up no4 to oosthuizen.

  • Comment 12, posted at 20.05.16 08:56:03 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 12) : Or Deysel,think thats what got to Potty he was going to be behind Deysel in the pecking order.

  • Comment 13, posted at 20.05.16 09:00:11 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 11) : surly can’t keep on blaming 3 guys for everyone leaving.need to put facts on the table to substantiate the claims.and even so,surely these guys can be expected to stand up for themselves?if no-one ever treid to confront one of them,then I must really question their heart,their courage.or more than likely I need to question the stories of 3 guys being able to chase away other players.and I only want warriors in my team.not someone who simply just goes away when things start getting confrontational.if you want it,you fight for it,right?if the jersey means someone,you stand up,right?what I can say is this: jannie,bissie and frans always put their hands up and their bodies on the line for the sharks.they didn’t just talk a good game,they delivered too.sometimes too passionate,though.but they are competitiors.

  • Comment 14, posted at 20.05.16 09:03:51 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 14) : all i can say is I prefer this years Sharks to last years Sharks,now work out whats different.

  • Comment 15, posted at 20.05.16 09:28:54 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 15) : The difference this year seems to be the sum of quite a few things….Gold being around for the entire pre-season, Rob du Preez and MMA-Joe joining the ranks.

    I do believe the rumors around Bismarck’s influence had to have some truth, as we never hear such rumors about our other senior players. Personally, I’m glad we had them boys around, but I also felt it was time for them to move on.

  • Comment 16, posted at 20.05.16 12:12:37 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 11) : I agree, I really thought that we were going to chase his signature.

  • Comment 17, posted at 20.05.16 12:50:08 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 16) : not much difference to prvious seasons.sharks actually started getting hammered once bissie and frans received bans and lambie’s injury.aLl that happened in the space of 2 weeks.

  • Comment 18, posted at 20.05.16 13:24:54 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 18) : Pal if you can’t see a radical attitude shift in this team from last years team then we have nothing to talk about.I

  • Comment 19, posted at 20.05.16 13:36:14 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 19) : bissie had been at the sharks for how many seasons before last season?so he had been the constant in the team.what changed last season?what was added?

  • Comment 20, posted at 20.05.16 13:47:39 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 20) : he was made captain

  • Comment 21, posted at 20.05.16 14:14:28 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 21) :bissie was already captain from 2014 superrugby season.sharks finished top of sa conference and lost in the semi-final to saders in christchurch.

  • Comment 22, posted at 20.05.16 15:24:10 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • I don’t want to entertain gossip and agendas.put facts on the table.give everyone a fair opportunity to speak.but always there is only this alluding.

  • Comment 23, posted at 20.05.16 15:39:38 by 50shadesofshark Reply


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