Two changes to Kings starting XV
Port Elizabeth - Southern Kings head coach Deon Davids announced his team for their Super Rugby encounter with the Sunwolves at the Singapore National Stadium on Saturday.
Following a safe travel to Singapore from Port Elizabeth, via Johannesburg, the side had an opportunity to adapt to conditions since arriving on Tuesday.
Davids has made two changes to the starting XV that took on the Jaguares in their opening match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last week.
Concussion has ruled out lock Irne Herbst, which forced the Kings to go into the match against the Sunwolves with a new second row pairing. Tyler Paul, who came off the bench last week, replaces Herbst and partners up with Mzwanele Zito for the lock combination.
In the backline, Masixole Banda gets an opportunity to start at fullback, replacing Chrysander Botha in the No15 jersey.
In an effort to gain experience in the competition, Davids has made some rotational changes to the bench.
Hooker Kurt Haupt will get a place on the bench while prop Justin Forwood will also get an opportunity as a back-up prop. Pieter-Steyn de Wet comes in as backline cover. The match will provide an opportunity for the trio to gain their first Super Rugby caps.
The versatile Thembelani Bholi has also been included on the bench where he will provide cover for both lock and flank.
“We have thought that in order to build on our Super Rugby experience, we would rotate on the bench, bringing in Kurt Haupt, Justin Forwood and Pieter-Steyn de Wet to gain that experience with the rest of the campaign in mind,” Davids said.
The coach is happy with the manner in which the side has adapted to conditions in Singapore.
“The guys are adapting to conditions up until this point in time. It is very humid and there was a bit of a thunderstorm on Wednesday which influenced the surface of the field at training on Thursday - it was wet and slippery, but the guys came through. The guys are building slowly into Saturday’s game,” he said.
Davids indicated that his side remained wary of the Sunwolves intention to bounce back from their defeat to the Hurricanes last weekend.
“The expectation is that the Sunwolves are definitely a team that wants to bounce back from last week. They are a team that is full of pride. They will come out and play the game at a high tempo, and they have some good and exciting runners. They like to play with the ball in hand. We also expect a lot of kicks into space. We have also worked at ensuring that we up our performance in the scrums and lineouts because we expect a tremendous onslaught from the Sunwolves,” Davids said.
Kick-off for Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 12:55 (SA time).
15 Masixole Banda, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Mzwanele Zito, 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira (captain)
Substitutes: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Justin Forwood, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Chris Cloete, 21 Rudi van Rooyen, 22 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23 Luzuko Vulindlu