The Southern Kings learnt with sadness of the passing of former KwaZakhele Rugby Union (Kwaru) No8 and South African Rugby Union (Saru) captain, Welile “Bomza” Nkohla.

The widely respected rugby legend lost a battle to cancer in Port Elizabeth on Sunday at the age of 71.

Nkohla was known as an inspirational leader and a talented No8 who served as a great inspiration for a number of other rugby players from the region who had watched him play, alongside the likes of other legends such as Peter Mkata and Temba Ludwaba, who also went on to become legends.

Nkohla captained the SA African Rugby Football team in seven matches in 1968/69.

His death comes only weeks after the passing of another former Saru captain, Salie Fredericks.

“We at the Southern Kings are deeply saddened by the passing of a great man such as Bomza,” Southern Kings Chief Operations Officer, Charl Crous, said on Monday.

“Bomza was one of the gems from the Eastern Cape region who have served the game of rugby with great distinction for decades. It is on the shoulders of giants like Bomza and other legends that the Southern Kings are built on.

“As a region we are privileged to have had this calibre of people paving the way for others to flourish like the Southern Kings team of 2017 that did so well in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Nkohla family, particularly Bomza’s wife and children, as well as the rugby fraternity that is mourning this great loss.”

Nkohla is survived by his wife, Bella, six children, twin sister Welekazi and brother Mzimkhulu.