Kings shift focus to Lions

    2013-07-09 09:10

    Cape Town - The Kings are likely to rest a few key players in their final Super Rugby clash as they brace for two promotion-relegation matches against the Lions.

    The Kings will face the men from Johannesburg at home on July 26 before the return leg at Ellis Park the following week. The winner of that 'series' will play Super Rugby next year.

    But before they can get to that there is the final weekend of Super Rugby to prepare for, with the Kings facing the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

    According to Die Burger's website, the Kings team for Saturday's clash could look different to the one which lost 24-12 to the Stormers last weekend.

    If Monday's training session is anything to go by, then only right wing Michael Killian, No 8 Vleis Engelbrecht and lock David Bulbring will remain in the starting team.

    "There are a lot of players with slight injuries and we may decide to rest them," said director of rugby, Alan Solomons.

    "SP Marais (fullback) is definitely out. He injured a hip muscle against the Stormers and could be sidelined for a few weeks."

    Marais was replaced by George Whitehead against the Stormers, but Shakes Soyizwapi is the favourite to play fullback against the Sharks.

    Whitehead may be utilised as flyhalf, as Demetri Catrakilis is nursing a sore knee.

    Wing Sergeal Petersen trained in the starting team on Monday, but pulled up with a hamstring niggle, which saw Killian move over in his place. Should Petersen not be declared fit, then Killian and New Zealander Hadleigh Parkes could be the wings at the Shark Tank.

    Argentine scrumhalf Nicolas Vergallo is also likely to start in the No 9 jersey ahead of Shaun Venter.

    Centres Andries Strauss and Ronnie Cook are also nursing a few bumps and bruises and could be replaced by Shane Gates and Waylon Murray.

    Should skipper Strauss sit out then lock Steven Sykes could return to lead the team, as vice-captain Darron Nell may also be rested.

    The front row is likely to consist of Charl du Plessis, Hannes Franklin and Kevin Buys, while loosies Wimpie van der Walt and Cornell du Preez could also get a breather.

    Mpho Mbiyozo and Devin Oosthuizen are likely to form the loose trio with Engelbrecht.

    Saturday's clash at Kings Park kicks off at 17:05.

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