Port Elizabeth - Southern Kings coach Deon Davids has named his team for Saturday's PRO14 encounter against Scottish side Edinburgh at the Nelson Mandela University’s Madibaz Stadium.
A combination of rotation and new injuries have led Davids to make some personnel changes to the team that narrowly went down to the Cheetahs a week ago.
The backline will see one forced change at centre, where Berton Klaasen has been ruled out of action after sustaining an eye injury. His place in the starting XV will be taken by Harlon Klaasen.
The change will bring about a positional switch in midfield which will see Tertius Kruger, who started at outside centre last week, donning the No 12 jersey with Harlon Klaasen playing at outside centre.
Tighthead prop Luvuyo Pupuma will make a return to the starting line-up, replacing Nicolaas Oosthuizen.
Experienced former Italian international, Andries van Schalkwyk, will also start alongside captain JC Astle in the second row, with Stephan Greeff going onto the bench.
Blindside flanker Martinus “Tienie” Burger will also start this week ahead of Henry “Bakkies” Brown, while No 8 Andisa Ntsila returns to the starting XV in the place of Ruaan Lerm, who will not be part of the match-day squad this week due to personal reasons.
A late call will be made regarding the starting loosehead prop for the match between veteran Schalk Ferreira and youthful Alulutho Tshakweni.
The 34-year-old Ferreira sustained a knock to his back at training this week. While he has been making good progress, the medical team has been practicing caution and will make a late call on his availability for the clash on Saturday.
Should Ferreira take to the field, the 20-year-old Tshakweni will start on the bench and Oosthuizen will drop out of the match-23 squad.
"We have had a good week of preparations," said Davids. "But it has not been without its hiccups as we unfortunately lost Berton Klaasen with an eye injury. We are also keeping a close eye on Schalk Ferreira with his minor back issue. We will make a late call on his participation in the match."
Fijian Meli Rokoua will also make a return to the team from the bench.
The Southern Kings will also have a new face on the bench in flyhalf Bader Pretorius.
The 21-year-old former Lions pivot will provide No 10 after joining the Southern Kings this week.
"We are pleased to have Bader Pretorius joining us. He arrived at the start of this week and has adjusted quickly and smoothly to our structures. He is a young talent whom we expect good things from.”
Saturday’s match is scheduled for 17:15
15 Masixole Banda, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Ntabeni Dukisa, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tienie Burger, 6 Cyril-John Velleman, 5 JC Astle (captain), 4 Andries van Schalkwyk, 3 Luvuyo Pupuma, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira/ Tshakweni Alulutho
Substitutes: 16 Alandre van Rooyen, 17 Lumpumlo Mguca, 18 Alulutho Tshakweni/Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 19 Stephan Greeff, 20 Henry Brown, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Bader Pretorius, 23 Meli Rokoua
15 Dougie Fife, 14 Tom Brown, 13 George Taylor, 12 Chris Dean, 11 James Johnstone, 10 Jaco van der Walt , 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Viliame Mata,
7 Ally Miller, 6 Luke Crosbie, 5 Callum Hunter-Hill, 4 Fraser McKenzie (captain), 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 2 David Cherry, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Substitutes: 16. Ross Ford, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Murray McCallum, 19 Jamie Hodgson, 20 Mungo Mason, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Simon Hickey, 23 Juan Pablo Socino