Kings veteran sets new Super Rugby record
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Veteran wing Alshaun Bock is about to set a new Super Rugby record - the oldest player on debut.
Bock, a Junior Springbok who turns 35 in May, will make his Super Rugby debut on the left wing for the Southern Kings - when they tackle the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
AllBlack legend Brad Thorn holds the record for the oldest Super Rugby player - having played his last game at the age of 39 years, 67 days.
However, Thorn made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders in 2001 - at age 26.
Bock made his first-class debut for the Boland Cavaliers in 2002 - at age 19.
His performances for the Cavaliers resulted in a call-up to the South Africa Under-21 team for the Junior World Championship in England, scoring nine tries in five games.
He was also called up to the South Africa Sevens team for the Hong Kong tournament that same year.
However, his career seemed to have hit a plateau and he moved between the Cavaliers, Griquas, Western Province (where he played mostly club rugby) and the South Western Districts for the next decade.
He returned to Griquas last year and was signed on loan to the Kings.
"There were some difficult times, which included a two-year break when I did not play any rugby," Bock said.
"After the SWD Eagles offered me a contract and then later Griquas, suddenly Super Rugby opportunities came.
"I will take this opportunity with both hands," he added.
Kings coach Deon Davids made five changes to his starting XV for the trip to Durban.
Following his debut off the bench last week, Wilhelm van der Sluys will start at lock alongside Irne Herbst - with Tyler Paul, who started in the No.5 jersey in the last two matches, moving to the bench.
Andisa Ntsila gets back into the starting team at No.7, replacing Thembelani Bholi.
In the backline, Louis Schreuder, who has been cleared following a concussion against the Sunwolves a fortnight ago, will start at scrumhalf.
Berton Klaasen makes his way back to No.13, replacing Luzuko Vulindlu, who sustained a concussion against the Stormers last week.
If Johann Tromp gets onto the field, he will be making his Super Rugby debut.
Southern Kings: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Andisa Ntsila, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Justin Forwood, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Stefan Willemse, 21 Johan Steyn, 22 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23 Johann Tromp.
Date: Saturday, March 18
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 19.30 (17.30 GMT)
Referee: Egon Seconds (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)