Adongo now a Southern King
Posted Sunday, December 30 2012 at 21:22
- Former Kenya junior international in a dilemma over whether to play for home country, SA or N Zealand
Daniel Adongo’s dream of playing Super Rugby will soon come to fruition when the burly Kenyan forward turns out for Port Elizabeth’s Southern Kings in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province next season.
The 23-year-old, who is based at Counties Manukau, New Zealand, has signed for Kings for the 2013 Super Rugby season that gets under way on February 15 culminating with the final on August 3.
Adongo is returning to the Southern Africa nation where he ditched another Super Rugby side Blue Bulls in July.
He will head back to Counties Manukau after the Super Rugby ready for the National Provincial Championship popularly known as ITM Cup Premier League that starts late August to early November.
The Super Rugby involves 15 teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa while the ITM Cup is the highest level of New Zealand domestic professional rugby union competition, contested annually.
“I am so delighted that I should realise my dream of playing in Super Rugby after only having played for Blue Bulls in build up towards the 2012 Super Rugby,” said Adongo, who has been in the country for the Christmas holidays and is due to leave for Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.
Adongo described his relocation to New Zealand from South Africa as “an effective campaign” and “a good decision” and is now is now looking into a bright rugby future.
“My first season with the Counties has been superb and eventful, having been part of the team that won the Championship,” said Adongo.
Counties Manukau beat Otago 41-16 to qualify for the ITM Cup Premiership at the end of October.
The victory secured Counties Manukau’s first piece of silverware since winning the old second division in 1993.
New style of playing
“I went to New Zealand with high expectations and for sure it has been fulfilled by winning the Championship final,” said Adongo, who is reluctant to discuss his engagement with Counties Manukau and Southern Kings.
Adongo explained that few people gave them not chance against Otago that had three All Blacks side coming from the tour.
“We just held our own after most people didn’t expect us to go far. We believed in ourselves and ability, the boys brought out their character,” who can bench-press 180kgs.
Since moving to New Zealand, Adongo reckoned that he has learnt a new style of playing quick rugby besides developing more skills and sharpening them up.
Adongo, who started off on the wing, before his mentor Rudolph Straeuli lured him to flanker said he opted to New Zealand after lack of airtime with Blues Bulls.
“I was looking for an opportunity to play and showcase my skills and I definitely got that in New Zealand and that has benefited me as a player and going forward,” said Adongo.
Adongo, who stands 1.98m tall and weigh 115 kilogrammes, explained that what is unique with New Zealand compared to South Africa from a forward’s perspective is that their game is less direct hence the ball is in play longer.