Captaincy curse strikes Kings again
Captaincy curse strikes Kings againSHARE
The Southern Kings will have their fourth captain in four games when Schalk Ferreira leads the Port Elizabeth-based side against the Crusaders on Saturday.
Schalk Ferreira has been handed the captaincy armband in the absence of Luke Watson, Steven Sykes and Darron Nell – who all suffered injuries after being named captain of the Kings.
Another captaincy candidate not available as a result of injury is Andries Strauss.
It means Ferreira will lead the Kings in the first away match, with Ronnie Cooke taking up the role of vice-captain.
"Schalk [Ferreira], I think is an exemplary player," Kings Director of Rugby Alan Solomons said.
"He always gives everything in every game and will no doubt lead by example," the Kings boss added.
"Ronnie Cooke, as vice-captain, has also shifted in fantastically. He is a superb player and a superb bloke."
Solomons said the game would be a big test for the team, both in terms of leadership and depth.
"Certain players weren't available – Steven Sykes took a knock and wasn't available and we didn't want to risk Andries [Strauss].
"He [Strauss] is much better, but he's still a little bit bruised around the AC joint, and neither of them was considered for this particular game."
Solomons said over and above Sykes and Strauss, they were also missing team leaders Darron Nell and Luke Watson, who stayed home due to injury, as well as SP Marais who started in all three home games at fullback.
"For the rest we tried to get a measure of consistency again in our selection," he said, adding: "While there is a level of consistency, what is also nice is that there are opportunities for players.
"Rynier Bernado comes in on the bench, obviously with Steve being out. I think it's a great opportunity. Here's a guy from Framesby, out of the academy, playing Super Rugby.
"I've said it before it's the green shoots of what Robbie [Kempson] is doing at the academy and it's fantastic," added Solomons.
"What's also fantastic to see is Waylon Murray, who had 30 minutes against Border [in the EP Kings Vodacom Cup game last week].
"He basically hasn't played for a year and its fantastic having him as part of the setup. It's fantastic for him personally and for the team," Solomons said.
The Kings boss said the change of players on the tour would also add its own set of challenges, with Devin Oosthuizen and Edgar Marutlulle both named on the bench for Saturday.
"Obviously for Devin and Edgar, it's quite tough for them. They only arrive tomorrow [Friday] morning."
Solomons said the game against the Crusaders was going to be a tough challenge.
"They're absolutely a top side, and what I regard as a measure of respect, they've chosen their best team. They have picked their strongest possible team and for us I think that's a huge challenge, but they've shown us that respect," he said.
Southern Kings: 15 George Whitehead, 11 Marcello Sampson, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Daniel Adongo, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Jaco Engels, 18 Rynier Bernardo, 19 Devin Oosthuizen, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 Waylon Murray, 22 Elric van Vuuren.
Date: Saturday, March 23
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35 (08.35 SA time; 06.35 GMT)
Referee: Rohan Hoffman (Australia)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Keith Brown (New Zealand)