Daunting tour ahead for Kings

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 14:20
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SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: There were few surprises when Southern Kings head coach Deon Davids today named his 28-man squad for the team's upcoming three-match tour of Europe. 

The local franchise face a daunting schedule, with Pro14 championship matches against Ulster, Ospreys and Leinster on consecutive weekends.

Notable absentees from the travelling squad include flyhalf Oliver Zono and fullback Ntabeni Dukisa who are both likely to be out for an extended period of time due to injury.

Also missing are prop Martin Dreyer, scrumhalf Rudi Van Rooyen, wing Alshaun Bock and forward Dries Van Schalkwyk. These four are all still recovering from various knocks and niggles and coach Davids along with team doctor Clement Plaatjies felt it would be unwise to risk them at this stage. All are expected to be fit for the home fixture against Benetton once the Kings have returned from Europe.

On the plus side for the Kings, front-row strongman Luvuyo Pupuma makes a welcome return to the squad after having come through a midweek friendly against the Madibaz Varsity Cup side unscathed and wing Michael Makase is also back from injury. Tentatively scheduled to be ready for action again in the near future are Justin Forwood and Cyril-John Velleman whose long-term rehabilitation is going "according to plan."

"I believe we've picked the strongest squad available to us and I have no doubt the players will give a good account of themselves over the next few weeks," said coach Davids. 

"As a squad we have shown consistent improvement in our play as the season has progressed and it's important to me that we continue to do so. Having said that, we know that we have three extremely tough fixtures ahead of us and that we will have to be at our best. Not only will we be up against formidable opposition but we'll also have to adapt to the icy conditions of the Northern Hemisphere winter," he added. 

The Kings will face Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Friday, February 9, then Ospreys in Swansea on Friday, February 16 before heading back to Ireland for a match against Leinster on Friday, February 23. 

Southern Kings squad: Schalk Ferreira, Michael Willemse (captain), Pieter Scholtz, Stephan Greeff, Arthur de Wee, Andisa Ntsila, Martinus Burger, Ruaan Lerm, Rowan Gouws, Martin du Toit, Anthonie Volmink, Luzuko Vulindlu, Berton Klaasen, Michael Makase, Yaw Penxe, Johan Smith, Stephan Coetzee, Tango Balekile, Luvuyo Pupuma, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Jurie van Vuuren, Lindokuhle Welemu, Eital Bredenkamp, Godlen Masimla, Juan-Phillip Smith, Barend Janse van Rensburg, Harlon Klaasen, Masixole Banda.

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 20 15 1 4 75
Munster 20 13 0 7 67
Cheetahs 20 11 0 9 58
Cardiff Blues 20 11 0 9 53
Ospreys 20 8 0 12 40
Connacht 20 6 0 14 34
Zebre 20 6 0 14 32
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 20 14 1 5 70
Scarlets 20 13 1 6 65
Edinburgh 20 14 0 6 64
Ulster 20 12 1 7 60
Treviso 20 11 0 9 54
Dragons 20 2 2 16 20
Kings 20 1 0 19 11