Currie Cup

Watson leads Kings against Lions

2015-08-07 06:59
Luke Watson (Gallo Images)

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 kick-off).

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."


EP Kings:

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 Grey

Golden Lions:

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


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