Kings happy to fly under the radar
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: New Eastern Province Kings coach Barend Pieterse said he is happy that his team is being written off before the start of their Currie Cup campaign.
Speaking to the media, after naming his squad for their opening match against the Boland Cavaliers in Port Elizabeth on Friday, he admitted they have one major advantage.
"I do think it counts in our favour that no-one knows much about us," Pieterse said.
Pieterse added that - due to the limited recruitment time - the majority of players had been contracted on a short-term basis, for the Currie Cup season.
However, this did not mean there was not an opportunity for them to secure a contract extension and a possible spot in the Southern Kings Super Rugby setup for 2017.
It has been a week of mad scrambling and political boardroom battles, after EP Rugby (Pty) Ltd (the EP Kings' professional arm) was liquidated last week.
An agreement was eventually reached, which will see the same South African Rugby-controlled company - which managed the Southern Kings Super Rugby franchise - will run the EP Kings.
Springbok Waylon Murray, one of the new recruits, will start at inside centre for the Kings against Boland on Friday.
Schalk Ferreira will lead the side from loosehead prop.
He will scrum down with tighthead Vukile Sofisa and hooker Mike Willemse.
The starting locks are Tazz Fuzani and Cornel Hess.
The back row consists of No.8 Christiaan de Bruin, along with flanks Sebastian Ferreira and Vince Jobo.
Eastern Province Kings: 15 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 14 Alcino Isaacs, 13 Johan Tromp, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Kobus Marais, 9 Ricky Schroeder, 8 Christiaan de Bruin, 7 Sebastian Ferreira, 6 Vince Jhobo, 5 Cornell Hess, 4 Tazz Fuzani, 3 Vukile Sofisa, 2 Mike Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Justin Forwood, 18 David Antonites, 19 Brandon Brown, 20 Jacques Fick, 21 Burton Klaasen, 22 Lungelo Goza.
Date: Friday, August 12
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Rodney Boneparte
Assistant referees: Jaco Pretorius, JP Clements
TMO: Christie du Preez