Port Elizabeth - Experienced flank Luke Watson is back to captain the EP Kings
when they open their Currie Cup Premier Division campaign against the Golden
Lions at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday (14:15
While coach Brent Janse van Rensburg has had to deal with the
unavailability of several players through injury, he was able to name a
relatively experienced squad as the Kings prepare for their second season in
the Premier Division.
Centre Tim Whitehead, who has played Super Rugby for both the Stormers and
the Sharks, is the vice-captain and will join exciting young centre JP du
Plessis in the midfield.
Janse van Rensburg said the players were ready for the challenge of taking
on one of the form teams in South African rugby.
"I feel there is a good balance to the squad and the players have
shown their worth in the warm-up matches," said Janse van Rensburg.
"The players have been working very hard and now this is their opportunity
to go out there and to play to their potential.
"You would always want more time in your preparations, but we have maximised the time we have had, the players have responded and I believe we have
made a lot of progress in the past few weeks."
Janse van Rensburg encouraged the public to get behind the Kings as they aim
to make an impact on the competition.
"There has been a lot of effort by the union and the players to make
this season a success and I hope the public will get behind us," said the
Kings coach. "We have been working very hard and whatever happens, it
certainly won't be for a lack of effort."
Skipper Watson felt his team would not need much encouragement to get fired
up for Saturday's game.
"This is a big game for all of us and we are all fired up, and now it
is matter of channelling that energy in the right direction.
"We know we are up against formidable opponents, who have been
together for a few seasons and now have that experience. But we are confident
we will be competitive and we are ready for the challenge."
15 Scott van Breda, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Tim Whitehead,
11 Luther Obi, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Enrico Acker, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Stefan
Willemse, 6 Luke Watson (captain), 5 Cornell Hess, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Tom Botha,
2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Substitutes: 16 Michael van Vuuren, 17 Simon Kerrod, 18 Jacques
Engelbrecht, 19 Paul Schoeman, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Karlo Aspeling, 22 Siyanda
15. Ruan Combrinck, 14. Courtnall Skosan, 13. Harold Vorster, 12. Howard
Mnisi, 11. Anthony Volmink, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Ruaan Lerm, 7. Kwagga Smith,
6. Jaco Kriel (captain), 5. Martin Muller, 4. Franco Mostert, 3. Julian
Redelinghuys, 2. Malcolm Marx, 1. Jacques van Rooyen
Substitutes: 16. Robbie Coetzee, 17. Ruan Dreyer, 18. MB Lusaseni, 19.
Steph de Wit, 20. Lohan Jacobs, 21. Stokkies Hanekom, 22. Jaco van der Walt