Kings banking on some experience

Mon, 22 Oct 2012 16:45
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The Kings will hope that a few of their more senior players return for the second match in the promotion-relegation series against the Cheetahs on Friday.

The Eastern Province Kings will hope that a few of their more senior players return, as they look to bounce back from a 39-point hammering at the hands of the Free State Cheetahs last Friday.

The hapless Kings, who lost 14-53 in Bloemfontein last week, are waiting on the medical reports of team leaders like Darron Nell and Tiger Mangweni - whop could both return for the Round Two fixture in Port Elizabeth this coming Friday.

Kings coach Alan Solomons said they will get finality on the injuries by Tuesday morning.

"There are a few players that might be unavailable," he told this website, adding" We'll know once they've seen the medical staff."

Fullback SP Marais went off in the loss to the with the Cheetahs with a groin injury and is listed as the "major" concern at the moment.

Wayne Stevens, who captained the Kings in the absence of players like Luke Watson, Nell and Mangweni, also took a knock to his knee and will be assessed before a call is made on Tuesday.

"Those are the two big ones at the moment," Solomons said, adding that there are lots of guys who have "bumps and bruises" - including New Zealand prop Clint Newland, who has a chest complaint.

"We will just have to have a look at that on Tuesday to see how everyone is shaping up and feeling," Solomons said.

However, the good news is the possible return of senior players like Mangweni and Nell.

"Tiger [Mangweni] has had a rest, so the odds are he will be available this week.

"Darron Nell  is another possibility to return [from injury]."

Nell captained the side and Mangweni was the vice-captain in the absence of Watson and if they will certainly come into the frame when the team is named on Tuesday.

Meanwhile it has been reports in the Port Elizabeth media that the 32-year-old Newland could be playing his final game for the Kings on Friday.

It is believed he will head to Europe next year, opening the door for the Kings to get another foreign import.

Currently Samoan Paul Perez and Newlands are the 'foreigners' on their books, while Argentinean scrumhalf Nicolas Vergallo and Blues utility back Hadleigh Parkes were recently unveiled as big-name signings.

However, with SARU having set a limit of just two foreign imports and Vergallo's French club refusing to release him before 2014, the Kings will now have Parkes as the second 'international' on their books.

By Jan de Koning

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Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 10 10 0 0 48
Blue Bulls 10 8 0 2 39
Western Province 10 7 0 3 35
Free State Cheetahs 10 3 2 5 24
Sharks 10 4 1 5 22
Pumas 10 3 1 6 17
EP Kings 10 2 0 8 12
Griquas 10 1 0 9 8