Kings suffer Jaer blow
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Southern Kings suffered a blow with the loss of fullback Malcolm Jaer ahead of their Super Rugby match against the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.
The 21-year-old Jaer was one of the star performers with a hat-trick of tries for the Southern Kings last weekend as the side narrowly went down 41-46 to the Western Force in Perth in their first of three tour matches in Australia.
However, the elusive back sustained a knee injury in the build-up to the Southern Kings' second match Down Under which has put his tour to an abrupt end, team doctor Konrad von Hagen confirmed on Thursday.
Jaer will be travelling back to South Africa where he will see a specialist in Port Elizabeth and undergo further scans to ascertain the nature of the knee injury.
Southern Kings head coach Deon Davids expressed his disappointment with the loss of the fullback.
"Unfortunately we have also lost a star player from last week, Malcolm Jaer, with a knee injury. He will be returning to South Africa to be properly assessed," Davids said.
The injury to Jaer has given an opportunity for another elusive fullback Masixole Banda to return to the starting XV after missing out on a spot in the team last weekend against the Force.
"We are lucky to have Masixole Banda in the squad, who can replace him [Jaer]," the head coach said. "He has been exposed to this level of rugby in the first few weeks of the competition. He is looking forward to regain that opportunity at No.15."
Banda's inclusion in the team is the only change Davids has made to the backline after last weekend's thrilling performance.
In the forwards pack, the head coach has made three rotational changes to the side that squared up against the Force in Perth.
In the front row, Chris Heiberg gets his first start of the season as he exchanges spots with Schalk van der Merwe at tighthead prop. In the second row, Mzwanele Zito will be getting a starting berth at No.4 with Irne Herbst going to the bench. Tyler Paul will also start in the No.7 jersey, replacing Andisa Ntsila who will be on the bench.
Justin Forwood, who was a late inclusion last weekend following the neck injury to Ross Geldenhuys, will again be afforded an opportunity to start while Geldenhuys continues to receive rest.
"At this stage of the tournament it becomes important that you manage the load of the players effectively," as Davids explained the changes.
"It's been a tough week for us, with the players suffering from sore bodies, bumps and bruises as a result of the tough encounter against Western Force last week. Therefore, we need to rotate our players in certain positions, which is what we have done."
Southern Kings: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje (captain), 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Mzwanele Zito, 3 Justin Forwood, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Chris Heiberg.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Irne Herbst, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Johan Steyn, 22 Wandile Mjekevu, 23 Pieter-Steyn de Wet.
Date: Saturday, April 15
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 15.05 (07.05 SA Time; 05.05 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Damon Murphy (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)