Injury forces Kings coach's hand

Thu, 02 Mar 2017 08:31
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Southern Kings coach Deon Davids has made two changes to his team to face the Sunwolves in a Super Rugby Round Two encounter in Singapore on Saturday.

Lock Irne Herbst suffered concussion in the loss to the Jaguares last week and the Kings go into the match against the Sunwolves with a new lock pairing.

Tyler Paul, who came off the bench last week, replaces Herbst and partners up with Mzwanele Zito for the second row combination.

In the backline, Masixole Banda gets an opportunity to start at fullback, replacing Chrysander Botha in the No.15 jersey.

In an effort to gain experience in the competition, Davids has made some rotational changes to the bench.

Kurt Haupt will get a place on the bench, while prop Justin Forwood will also get an opportunity as a back-up prop.

Pieter-Steyn de Wet comes in as backline cover.

The match will provide an opportunity for the trio to gain their first Super Rugby caps.

The versatile Thembelani Bholi has also been included on the bench where he will provide cover for both lock and flank.

"We have thought that in order to build our Super Rugby depth, we would rotate on the bench - bringing in Kurt Haupt, Justin Forwood and Pieter-Steyn de Wet to gain that experience," Davids said.

The coach is happy with the manner in which the side has adapted to conditions in Singapore.

"The guys are adapting to conditions up until this point in time," he said.

"It is very humid and there was a bit of a thunderstorm on Wednesday, which influenced the surface of the field at training on Thursday – it was wet and slippery, but the guys came through.

"The guys are building slowly into Saturday's game," he added.

Southern Kings: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Waylon Murray,11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Mzwanele Zito, 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Justin Forwood, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Chris Cloete, 21 Rudi van Rooyen, 22 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23 Luzuko Vulindlu.

Date: Saturday, March 4
Venue: Singapore National Stadium, Singapore
Kick-off: 18.55 (12.55 SA time; 10.55 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds (South Africa), Akihisa Aso (Japan)
TMO: Minoru Fuji (Japan)

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