Mjekevu starts for Kings

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 10:55

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Southern Kings head coach Deon Davids has made four changes and one positional switch to hise team lost to Reds last weekend for their clash against the Waratahs.

A concussion to wing Yaw Penxe, who returned to South Africa earlier in the week, has forced Davids to make one change to the backline which sees Wandile Mjekevu getting his first start of the season at right wing.

In the forwards pack, Andisa Ntsila will start at No.8, replacing Ruaan Lerm, while lock Irne Herbst returns to the starting XV, changing spots with Mzwanele Zito who will be on the bench this week. Tighthead prop Ross Geldenhuys makes a return to the team following a neck spasm ahead of the Southern Kings' match against Western Force a fortnight ago.

Justin Forwood moves from tighthead to the other side of the scrum, with Chris Heiberg, who started at loosehead last weekend, not in the matchday squad this week.

On the bench, Kurt Haupt will provide cover at hooker, while Nicolaas Hanekom will provide backline backup and will be up for his first appearance for the Southern Kings in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

"Injuries always impact us in a sense that they influence your continuity and combinations," the head coach said.

"Yaw Penxe and Malcolm Jaer [who sustained a knee injury after the Western Force game] are youngsters who did a great job for us, but we are lucky to fall back on the experience of Stokkies [Nicolaas] Hanekom and Ntabeni Dukisa, who have joined the team in Australia. We are hopeful that these guys will grab their opportunities and make the step up in Super Rugby."
 
Southern Kings: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje (captain), 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Justin Forwood
Replacements: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Mzwanele Zito, 20 Ruaan Lerm/Martin Bezuidenhout, 21 Johan Steyn, 22 Nicolaas Hanekom, 23 Pieter-Steyn de Wet.

Date: Friday, April 21
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.45 (11.45 SA Time; 09.45 GMT)
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

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