Centre Wayne Stevens will lead the EP Kings in the first leg of their promotion/relegation play-off with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday.
The midfielder takes the captaincy reins from injured lock Darron Nell who stood in for regular skipper Luke Watson in the first division final against the Pumas last week.
Nell is replaced in the second row by David Bullbring in one of four changes to the starting line-up that secured the tense 26-25 victory over the Pumas.
Loosehead prop Schalk Ferreira took a knock to the head against the Pumas and has been replaced in the front row by the experienced Jaco Engels.
In the backline veteran utility back Tiger Mangweni has been rested after a gruelling season which saw him play in 15 of the Kings' 16 matches, and he has been replaced at inside centre by Shane Gates.
The only tactical change to the team is at flyhalf where former Tuks and Berea Rovers pivot Wesley Dunlop replaces George Whitehead.
EP Kings: 15 SP Marais, 14 Paul Perez, 13 Wayne Stevens (captain), 12 Shane Gates, 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Wesley Dunlop, 9 Falie Oelschig, 8 Cornell Du Preez, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Devin Oosthuizen, 5 David Bullbring, 4 Reynier Bernardo, 3 Clint Newland, 2 Hannes Franklin, 1 Jaco Engels.
Replacements: 16 Frank Herne, 17 Andre Schlechter, 18 Wayne van Heerden, 19 Mpho Mbiyozo, 20 Scott Mathie, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Michael Killian.
Date: Friday, October 19
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 19.10 (18.10 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Lesego Legoete, Rasta Rasivhenge
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee