Kings young guns bolster side for Highlanders clash
Cape Town - Southern Kings head coach Deon Davids has announced four changes to his starting lineup against the Pulse Energy Highlanders at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday evening.
Most notable among the changes is the inclusion of CJ Velleman at left flank and Malcolm Jaer, at fullback, both of whom have returned from injury. Jaer replaces Jurgen Visser who is still recovering from a concussion sustained during the game against the Jaguares.
Stefan Willemse then shifts from left to right flank, to cover for Thembelani Bholi, who is out for the rest of the Super Rugby season after a knee operation during the June break.
Davids also brought Tom Botha up from the bench to start at tighthead prop in place of Jacobie Adriaanse, who is out with a calf strain.
Davids once again rotated flyhalves, with Elgar Watts getting a start while Louis Fouche moves to the bench. Other changes to the bench include Sti Sithole and Luzuko Vulindlu.
Davids said he was glad to have both Velleman and Jaer back, as both players were itching to get back onto the field of play.
"This is our last home game of the season and we really want to go out there and give our all," he said.
Davids said the last block had always been identified as a tough leg of the competition, but the team was looking forward to playing the last three matches.
"This is a special group of players, who play for each other and for the jersey week in and week out," he said.
15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Lukhanyo Am, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Shane Gates (vice-captain), 11 Wandile Mjekevu, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Ntando Kebe, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 CJ Velleman, 5 JC Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (captain), 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Justin Ackerman, 19 Schalk Oelofse, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Kevin Luiters, 22 Louis Fouche, 23 Luzuko Vulindlu
15 Matt Faddes, 14 Jack Wilson, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Ryan Tongia, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Te Aihe Toma, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Shane Christie (captain), 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Mark Reddish, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Substitutes: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 19 Liam Squire, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Patrick Osborne