Cape Town - The Eastern Province Kings will be up against it when they tackle the Free State Cheetahs in a Currie Cup clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
It will be the Kings’ third match in a week, having also played against Griquas in midweek.
Head coach Barend Pieterse said it would be tough, but it will provide an opportunity for the players to stake a claim.
“Three games in eight days always meant that this would be a squad exercise with two teams rotating but it has also been an opportunity for players and some of those who appeared against Griquas have earned another chance,” Pieterse said on Friday.
“This might have been all doom and gloom as a challenge but it has been far from that. The players’ attitude has been magnificent - no negativity at all - and it has actually been good to be on the road as a squad.
“The players for tomorrow’s match drove up to Bloem on Wednesday and as the majority of them are young and making their way they have really enjoyed the experience.”
The Kings lost 36-6 against Western Province in Port Elizabeth last Saturday, before going down 47-24 to Griquas in Kimberley on Wednesday.
“Twelve of the team who started against WP regain their places - with JC Greyling and Dylan Pieterse being the two to play their third match in eight days - while one of two injuries have given other players another chance,” said Pieterse.
“Hannes Huishamen - who only joined us on Monday - deserves another chance while Tazz Fuzani is still injured while Pieter-Steyn de Wet gets a start at (No) 10 as Lungelo Goza has a groin injury.
“We have been making progress and there are certain areas where we are improving every week and there are certain areas where we still need to work. What is costing us most of the time is the little lapses in concentration that get converted into points against when we have put ourselves into good positions in a number of matches.
“It’ll be a nice challenge to go back to my old province and face some of the people who coached me! The Cheetahs are doing well so it’ll be another great opportunity for our players.”
Kick-off for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 15:00.
Free State Cheetahs
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Nico Lee, 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer (captain), 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Justin Basson, 19 Henco Venter, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Niel Marais, 22 Michael van der Spuy
15 Johan Tromp, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 13 JC Greyling, 12 Burton Klaasen, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 9 Ricky Schroeder (captain), 8 Christiaan de Bruin, 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Vince Jobo, 5 Sebastian Ferreira, 4 Dylan Pieterse, 3 Vukile Sofisa, 2 Mike Willemse, 1 Justin Forwood
Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Barend Potgieter, 18 Hannes Huishamen, 19 Brandon Brown, 20 Vian van der Watt, 21 Kobus Marais, 22 Gainfried May