Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Kriel v Kriel: ‘It is going to be one hell of a party’ in Jukskei derby

Richard Kriel became a regular for Zebre, making 12 appearances over the 2022/23 season, but was lured back to SA by the Lions.

A new exciting brotherly rivalry is set to get under way on Saturday when Lions wing Richard Kriel and Bulls outside centre David Kriel go head to head for the first time when their sides meet in their United Rugby Championship (URC) cross-Jukskei derby at Loftus.

David (24) and Richard (23) were both born in Potchefstroom, attended Grey College in Bloemfontein and both started their senior rugby careers at the Bulls back in 2020.

ALSO READ: Forward battle to the fore for Lions monster Ntlabakanye

Richard however found game time for the main team slim, making just one appearance for them in the URC, while he also featured 12 times for the Blue Bulls Currie Cup side, which led to him making the move to Zebre in 2022.

He became a regular for the Italian side, making 12 appearances over the 2022/23 season, but was lured back to SA by the Lions for the current season.

Regular starter

David only had slightly more game time than Richard at first, but chose to stick it out with the Bulls and over the past two seasons has slowly become a more prevalent member of the squad, and he is now a regular starter for the team.

Richard and David are both extremely close and are living together in Pretoria again, as they did before Richard made his brief move to Italy for a season.

It is thus set to be a thrilling encounter for the two as they go up against each other for the first time in their short senior rugby history so far.

“I can’t wait for the game. I am playing against my brother. It is going to be one hell of a party I imagine. But it is going to be nice to finally play against each other in the URC,” said Richard earlier in the week.

Staying together

“We have been staying together for over two years and this is probably the first week that we haven’t spoken about rugby. So we will have to wait and see what happens. But everything is still the same. We have just stayed away from talking about rugby.

“Obviously I want to win but I also want him to do well. So I will just say good luck to him, enjoy it and whoever wins wins.”

Richard has solidified himself as the Lions first choice right wing over this season so far, making 10 appearances for them in all competitions and is enjoying his time at the union and hopes to be there for a long time.

“I am really grateful to have gotten an opportunity to play so much rugby. At the Lions we have a team with massive talent and the guys are growing and growing. I love it here and I can’t wait to play more games for the Lions,” said Richard.

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits