Cape Town - Sibusiso Sithole and Bobby de Wee will earn starting berths for the Southern Kings when they take on Benetton Rugby at Stadio Monigo in Treviso, Italy, on Saturday.
Former South Africa Sevens star, Sithole, who provided backline cover from the bench in the opening three matches of the 2019/20 PRO14 season at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, will make his first start of the season at outside centre where he will partner up with Tertius Kruger for the midfield combination.
The skilful, strong and experienced Sithole replaces JT Jackson in the team. Jackson has been rested for the Southern Kings’ first tour match of the season.
Meanwhile, in the forwards pack, the versatile De Wee will make his second start of the season after previously being in the starting XV for the South African side’s opening match against Cardiff Blues. Despite having played at blindside flank in the season-opener and having provided cover both in the second row and at loose-forward, the 25-year-old will start at No 4 lock where he replaces Jerry Sexton. Hooker Jacques du Toit will also earn his first starting berth for the Kings in a rotational switch with Alandre van Rooyen as the rest of the forwards pack remains the same.
In the backline, Josh Allderman will don the No 9 jersey following the injury to vice-captain, Stefan Ungerer in the previous match against Ulster Rugby.
Also making a return to the team is winger Christopher Hollis, who replaces the injured Courtney Winnaar in the side.
An exciting inclusion on the bench will see young flyhalf Siyabonga Masuku possibly making his PRO14 and Kings debut as backline cover. Thembelani Bholi will also make his first PRO14 appearance after his return to the Port Elizabeth-based side.
15 Masixole Banda, 14 Christopher Hollis, 13 Sibusiso Sithole, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Josiah Twum-Boafo, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Juan Schoeman, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Tienie Burger, 6 Lusanda Badiyana (captain), 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Bobby de Wee, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Juan Schoman.
Subsitutes: 16 Alandre van Rooyen, 17 Xandre Vos, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 JC Astle, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Erigh Louw, 22 Siya Masuku, 23 Erich Cronje.
- Southern Kings