After announcing the EP Kings team to face Wales on Tuesday 10 June at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Eastern Province Head Coach, Carlos Spencer fielded a number of questions from the media keen to hear the chances of the Kings against Wales and why Luke Watson wasn’t playing. See the video for all Spencer’s answers.
“Most of the new guys have just arrived on Monday so they still have a lot to learn in terms of information and the way we want to play the game, but they have fitted in really well,” he said.
The team will once again be led onto the field by Darron Nell, who will come on at Lock, as Spencer has opted to hold back Luke Watson’s return.
“We’ve decided to rest him and make sure that he has his injury is one hundred percent. Luke has been working really hard these last three months and credit to him, he wanted to play, but I decided now is not the right time.”
Up front is Lizo Gqoboka and Charl du Plessis, with Edgar Marutlulle, who played for the Southern Kings last year on loan from the Leopards and who has now signed with the Kings, at hooker.
Joining Nell at Lock is NMMU Madibas player, Cameron Lindsay, who made his debut for the EP Kings in the Vodacom Cup this year. Thembalani Bholi and Devin Oosthuizen take up Flanks, while Paul Schoeman comes in at eighth-man.
The backs include new signing Kevin Luiters at scrum-half and George Whitehead at fly-half. Shane Gates and Ronnie Cooke make the center pairing, with Scott van Breda and Siviwe “Shakes” Soyizwapi at left and right wing respectively.
Spencer said he would also be using the game to look at various player combinations, including fielding Hansie Graaf at fullback.
“I think we’re very lucky, we have a great back three. Hansie is a pretty gifted player, we all know what Shakes can do, and Scott he is a big boy, he can carry and he is quick and offers us an extra goal kicker as well, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do together,” he said.
“I think this game is a bit early for us in the season, but because its Wales we decided to take this on and it’s a great opportunity, not only for us as a union, but for the players as well, especially the young guys.
“Our main goal is the 8th of August in the game against the Western Province in our first Currie Cup game,” said Spencer.
“We want to come out of this game fairly confident in what we’ve been trying to achieve over the last two or three months. I want to see the guys work rate, and see them working hard for each other.
“The guys have been working really hard and now they’re really just looking forward to playing rugby. They’re looking forward to getting out between the white lines and seeing what dividends all the hard work and preparation will bring.”
Spencer said he was not sure what the Wales team would bring, but said he was expecting them to bring a very physical game.
“Wales is a great team and coached by a former All Black and New Zealander, so they’re going to come here and play a good style of rugby which we like, so we’re definitely looking forward to it,” he said.
The game takes place at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Tuesday, 10 June 2014, with kickoff at 19:00. Tickets are still available through Computicket and the Stadium Ticketing Office.
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