Port Elizabeth - Southern Kings coach Deon Davids has named his team for Friday night’s PRO14 clash against Welsh side Dragons at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (19:35 kick-off).
Davids opted to keep faith with the majority of the players who started in the 64-7 loss to Leinster in Ireland last week.
There is a single change in the backline where Masixole Banda returns in place of Yaw Penxe at fullback, while up front Andisa Ntsila returns to his favoured position at No 6 flank, with Ruaan Lerm returning to the run-on XV at No 8.
There was greater selection activity on the bench where the experienced Kurt Coleman (flyhalf) and Dries Van Schalkwyk (loose forward) return to the match-day 23 at the expense of Eital Bredenkamp and Benhard Janse Van Rensburg, while scrumhalf Godlen Masimla also comes in to replace Juan-Philip Smith.
Michael Willemse, who scored a try against Leinster, retains the captaincy.
Still searching for a first win in this year’s PRO14, the Kings are determined to celebrate their return to familiar conditions with a good performance against a Dragons team that they ran quite close in the corresponding away fixture.
“Every team in an international competition like this presents a tough challenge and the Dragons are no different but I expect a strong reaction from my team to last week’s blowout against Leinster. Everyone is determined to make up for what was a bad day at the office. We’ve played really well at times this season and it’s now time we put in an 80-minute performance at that level. If we execute properly and cut down on some basic errors then we’ll be in with a shout. Errors at this level are severely punished,” said Davids.
He added that the Kings were looking forward to playing in home conditions again after three weeks in the icy chill of one of Europe’s coldest winters in years.
15 Masixole Banda, 14 Michael Makase, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Martin du Toit, 9 Rowan Gouws, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Tienie Burger, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Bobby de Wee, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Substitutes: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Johan Smith, 18 Luvuyo Pupuma, 19 Lindokuhle Welemu, 20 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Jacques Nel