Kempson to Kings' rescue
Port Elizabeth - The Kings, currently under the guidance of caretaker coach Robbie Kempson, will take to the field against the Cheetahs with a mixture of experience and young up-and-coming players this weekend.
Kempson, a former Springbok prop, takes the reins with the union still searching for a new head coach.
The team will be captained by rugby stalwart Darron Nell, who shared the captaincy role for the Kings with Luke Watson
and Andries Strauss in their Super Rugby debut season last year, with Ronnie Cooke - EP Kings Player of the Year last year - as vice captain.
Kempson said the team had been putting in the hours during their pre-season training and were keen to get out and play some rugby.
He said while the Kings would not be playing Super Rugby themselves this year, they realised that these warm up matches were very important to the opposition teams.
“Obviously for the Cheetahs, Lions and Stormers these matches are an important part of their preparations for the Super Rugby season ahead and we want to ensure that we give them enough competition so that they
have the best opportunity to prepare,” he said.
Nell said the mood among the players was high and that they were eager to take on the Cheetahs this weekend.
“There are a lot of youngsters and new faces in the team which has brought a new energy to the training. They have also had to learn a lot of new plays and lineout calls, but they’re really adapting well,” he said.
Nell said from a strength and conditioning point of view, the players were also in good form.
“While we did have a two and a half week break over Christmas, there were still training programmes that we had to follow, and all the guys tested well when they came back, and have worked really hard,” he said.
Nell said the players had also been working on a few new things, and said Kings supporters could expect to see some entertaining and exciting rugby.
“We have always had good support at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and would love to have the fans come out and support us on Saturday,” he said.
The Kings play the Cheetahs at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
Gates open at 16:00 and the game kicks off at 17:00.Teams:EP Kings:
15 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 14 Sergeal Peterse, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Dwayne Jenner, 11 Michael Killian, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Jaco Grobler, 8 Devin Oosthuizen, 7 Darron Nell (captain), 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Pieter Stemmet, 1 Dane van der Westhuizen, 1 BG Uys
Substitutes: 16 Albe de Swardt, 17 Brenden Olivier, 18 Vukile Sofisa, 19 Stephan Zaayman, 20 Stephan Greef, 21 Thembelani Bholi, 22 Claude Tshidibi, 23 Sonwabo Majola, 24 Shane Gates, 25 Ntabeni Dukisa, 26 Brian SkosanaCheetahs:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagné, 6 Jean Cook, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen
, 2 Adriaan Strauss
(c), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Substitutes: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Ligtoring Landman, 20 Boom Prinsloo, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Rayno Benjamin.