THE EP Kings will start their bid for honours in the Vodacom Cup rugby competition with a tough match against the Pampas XV from Argentina in Port Elizabeth on March 8 or 9.
Hopes are high that the Kings will have the firepower needed to qualify from a tough South Section and reach the quarterfinals.
There has been speculation that long-serving Tiger Mangweni, who was left out of the Southern Kings' 40-man Super Rugby squad, will play a leading role in the Vodacom Cup.
The South Section contains defending champions Western Province, as well as Border, Boland, EP, Free State XV, the Sharks XV, SWD and the Pampas XV.
The teams will each play seven group matches, with the top four sides from each section progressing to the quarterfinals.
It was also announced by SA Rugby that Limpopo would play in the Vodacom Cup as a separate team for the first time when the 16-team competition kicks off on the second weekend of March.
Limpopo will play in the North Section, along with the Blue Bulls, Golden Lions, Griffons, Leopards, Pumas, Falcons and Griquas.
EP's fixtures are:
March 8 or 9: EP Kings v Pampas XV; March 15 or 16: Border v EP; March 22 or 23: EP v WP; April 5 or 6: Free State XV v EP; April 12 or 13: EP v SWD; April 19 or 20: EP v Sharks XV; April 26 or 27: Boland v EP