This mid-table South Section clash between the Toyota Free State XV and the EP Kings in Bloemfontein should produce fireworks. Both are on seven league points, with the Free Staters ahead on points’ difference.
The Eastern province Rugby team that will take on the Free state in Bloemfontein this weekend has been announced, with a few changes to the side following injuries over the past week.
Vodacom Cup head coach, David Maidza, said the changes also provided some of the boys from Nelson Mandela Bay University’s Madibaz, who had put in a sterling performance in the Varsity Cup, a chance to take part.
“Mzwanele Zito is one of the boys coming up from Madibaz, who will start at 4. He was one of the better playing forwards in the Varsity Cup competition and will add value to the front pack as a very physical player,” he said.
Zito comes on in place of Wayne van Heerden, who has hurt his back.
Maidza said Zito’s fellow Madibaz teammate, Tim Agaba, would take up position at 6 in the starting line up, while Schalk Oelofse takes the bench at no 18.
“These boys are being rewarded for their performance at Varsity Cup level and are being given an opportunity to show us what they can deliver at Vodacom Cup level,” he said.
Maidza said regular skipper, Mpho Mbiyozo, was missing the game against Free State following an injury niggle and was being rested, with the captaincy falling on regular vice captain, Wayne Stevens.
“Wesley Dunlop also misses the game following a hamstring injury, with Ntabeni Dukisa taking his place in the starting lineup,” said Maidza.
Scott van Breda also joined the starting lineup at fullback, with Siviwe Soyizwapi having been called up to join the Southern Kings on tour in Australia.
Kayle van Zyl joins the bench from the Kings academy along with Andile Jho.
Maidza said the team were looking forward to the game against Free State; “We’re looking forward to it. We didn’t do ourselves any favours against Western Province and we need to step up our performance and play with heart,” he said.
The game takes place on Saturday, 6 April with kick-off at 14h45.
The Eastern Province Team is:
- Starting Line-up: 15. Scott van Breda, 11. Yamkela Ngam, 13. Wayne Stevens (Captain), 12. Siyabonga Mangweni, 14. Siyanda Grey, 10. Ntabeni Dukisa, 9. Scott Mathie, 1. Charl du Plessis, 2. Boetie Britz, 3. Ross Geldenhuys, 6. Tim Agaba, 4. Mzwanele Zito, 5. Samora Fihlani, 7. Dalton Davis, 8. Paul Schoeman
- Replacements: 16. Dane van der Westhuizen, 17. Brendan Olivier, 18. Schalk Oelofse, 19. Thabo Mamojela, 20. Kayle van Zyl, 21. Marlou van Niekerk, 22. Andile Jho