Kings without key players on Scotland trip
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: The Southern Kings may be refreshed after a month-long break, but they will return to Pro14 action without a number of key players.
Coach Deon Davids named what he described as his 'strongest possible' squad for the this week's trip to Scotland - where they will face Edinburgh on Friday.
Their last outing was against the same opponents on December 1.
They will make the trip without the services of prop forward Luvuyo Papama and stand-out loose forward Andisa Ntsila.
"Luvuyo unfortunately tore a hamstring muscle during training and he is likely to be out for three to four weeks," team doctor Clement Plaatjies said.
"Andisa suffered a concussion and mandatory protocol requires that he sit out for a minimum of two weeks, whilst we monitor his condition," Plaatjies added.
Other players unavailable for selection are squad captain Michael Willemse, flyhalf Oliver Zono and wing Michael Makase.
All three are making their way back to full fitness after injury.
Plaatjies said he expected them to be ready for action soon.
Davids stressed that the omission of Stefan Greeff and Bobby de Wee from the touring group was nothing more than a desire on his part to manage their workload and that they would return for the match against the Cheetahs later this month.
"Those two have been grafting extremely hard in our previous encounters and will return for the Cheetahs game," Davids said.
"We have in their place though, Jurie van Vuuren and Lindokuhle Welemu, two replacements who will be determined to prove themselves.
"There's also an opportunity for Eital Bredenkamp and Freddie Ngoza, neither of whom have played in the first half of the season, to step up as loose-forwards, in the place of the injured players," he added.
Davids also revealed that Mzamo Majola, on loan from the Sharks, had been required to return to his home franchise and had been replaced by Njabulo Gumede, whilst recent loan signing from the Lions Anthony Volmink was not considered for the Edinburgh encounter due to family commitments.
"Overall this has been a difficult touring squad to put together and I've had much to consider.
"Firstly, we've had to take into account the players' workload prior to this break and consider the impact that the tough travelling schedule we have coming up could have on their recovery.
"We have also been hit by some unforeseen injuries.
"In light of the said, we decided it would be a good opportunity to assess the depth and talent within the squad by giving other players an opportunity on this one week tour whilst at the same time not discarding too much continuity," he said.
An added challenge for Davids and his Kings team will be the icy mid-winter conditions they are likely to experience in Edinburgh.
The match will take place at the Scottish team's Myreside home on Friday, January 5.
SOUTHERN KINGS SQUAD:
Forwards: Schalk Ferreira, Pieter Scholtz, Martin Dreyer, Njabulo Gumede, Rossouw de Klerk, Tango Balekile, Stephan Coetzee, Lindokuhle Welemu, Dries van Schalkwyk, Jurie van Vuuren, Martinus Burger, Eital Bredenkamp, Freddie Ngoza, Ruaan Lerm.
Backs: Rudi van Rooyen, Godlen Masimla, Rowan Gouws, Kurt Coleman, Berton Klaasen, Harlon Klaasen, Martin du Toit, Alshaun Bock, Yaw Penxe, Masixole Banda, Ntabeni Dukisa.