Cronje back to captain Kings
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Southern Kings coach Deon Davids has named a strong side to take on the Jaguares in a Super Rugby encounter in Buenos Aires at the Estadio Jose Amalfitani on Saturday.
The head coach has stressed the importance of consistency and has opted not to make any surprise inclusions to his side that showed good form in previous matches leading up to their last Super Rugby outing, against the Lions, before the June break.
In the build-up to the last match against the Lions, the Southern Kings were dealt a blow with a number of injuries which included captain Lionel Cronje and No.8 Andisa Ntsila.
The side suffered further injuries during the defeat to the Gauteng-based side – losing utility back Ntabeni Dukisa (shoulder), wing Alshaun Bock (biceps) and prop Schalk van der Merwe (shoulder).
Loosehead prop, Mzamo Majola, who made his Super Rugby debut against the Lions in Johannesburg in May, will get his first starting berth this weekend as he replaces the injured Van der Merwe in the No.1 jersey.
Wandile Mjekevu will start at right wing in the place of Bock.
In a rotational change, hooker Michael Willemse, who has returned to action following an appendix operation, will regain the No.2 jersey as Martin Bezuidenhout will provide cover on the bench.
Ntsila and Cronje, who were on national duty during the June break with the South Africa 'A' side, are also back in the starting XV with Cronje also leading the side as captain once again.
Schalk Ferreira, who has been out of action for three months after sustaining a biceps injury in the closely contested match against the Sharks in Durban in March, will make his way back into the team from the bench as he provides cover for the loosehead prop position.
Utility back Masixole Banda who has also been out with a hamstring injury, will provide backline cover on the bench, while recent South Africa Under-20 representative, Yaw Penxe, will also make a Super Rugby return from the bench.
Southern Kings: 15 Malcolm Jaer, 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 Mzamo Majola.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Masixole Banda, 23 Yaw Penxe.
Date: Friday, June 30
Venue: Estadio Jose Amalfitani, Buenos Aires
Kick-off: 20:05 (23:05 GMT; 01.05 SA time, Saturday, July 1)
Referee: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Pali Deluca (Argentina), Damian Schneider (Argentina)
TMO: Santiago Borsani