Astle leads Kings in PRO14 season opener

2019-09-27 13:47
JC Astle
JC Astle (Gallo Images)

Port Elizabeth - Lock JC Astle will the Southern Kings in their PRO14 opener against Cardiff Blues at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.

The 29-year-old has once again been appointed season captain for the 2019/20 season, the Kings' interim Head Coach, Rob Kempson, confirmed.

"JC Astle will captain the side for the season, as he did last season," Kempson said via a press statement.

"He also has a strong leadership group, which includes the vice-captain for this game - Stefan Ungerer. We are privileged to have a number of leaders in this group of players."

The Southern Kings will have six PRO14 debutants in their starting line-up to face the Welsh opposition.

New recruits lock Jerry Sexton, centres JT Jackson and Howard Mnisi, wing Christopher Hollis and fullback Andell Loubser will make their first official appearances for the Port Elizabeth-based side, while Demetri Catrakilis will add to the number for a first appearance in the PRO14.

On the bench, lock Aston Fortuin, utility forward Elrigh Louw and Josh Allderman will also be making their tournament debuts, with Jacques du Toit - who switched allegiance from the Cheetahs - earning his first cap for the Southern Kings.

The newbies will have the comfort of experience in Astle, Bobby de Wee and Yaw Penxe, among others, against a Blues side that Kempson believes will be relying on their experience on their tour of South Africa.

"Cardiff Blues have a very experienced pack and have a lot of old heads in their backline as well. They have an exceptionally good coach in John Mulvihill. It will be a good test, particularly for our young players who will get their first opportunity in the PRO14," said Kempson.

"A good start is quite important for us, but I think what is more important is the manner in which we play.

"We have seen some progression after an incredibly tough tour of Georgia and Namibia. The results were not entirely important. The fact that we were out of our comfort zone, also we were playing against World Cup opposition and testing certain combinations was important."

Kick-off is at 16:00 on Saturday.


Southern Kings

15 Andell Loubser, 14 Christopher Hollis, 13 Howard Mnisi, 12 John-Thomas Jackson, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Lusanda Badiyana, 7 Arthur de Wee, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 JC Astle (captain), 4 Jerry Sexton, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Alandre van Rooyen, 1 Alulutho Tshakweni

Substitutes: 16 Jacques Du Toit, 17 Xandre Vos, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Aston Fortuin, 20 Elrigh Louw, 21 Josh Allderman, 22 Bader Pretorius, 23 Sibusiso Sithole

Cardiff Blues

15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Jason Harries, 13 Garyn Smith, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Aled Summerhill, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Lloyd Williams, Nick Williams (captain), 7 Olly Robinson, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Rory Thornton, 4 Seb Davies, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Liam Belcher, 1 Brad Thyer

Substitutes: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 20 Will Boyde, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Jason Tovey, 23 Harri Millard

Read more on:    southern kings  |  pro14  |  jc astle  |  rugby


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