Several rotational moves and a hamstring injury to wing Siyanda Grey have seen EP Kings rugby coach Brent Janse van Rensburg introduce several changes to the team to play Griqualand West in an Absa Currie Cup Premier Division fixture at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday (September 26).
A grade three hamstring tear will see Grey sit out for a lengthy period and he has been replaced by Sylvian Mahuza.
There are several changes to the pack, with Lizo Gqoboka returning to the front row in place of Schalk Ferreira, who will be on the bench, along with hard-working loose forwards Thembelani Bholi and Tim Agaba.
Bholi has been one of the outstanding players in the Kings team this season and Janse van Rensburg said it was important not to over-play him.
“Thembelani has played the full 80 minutes for several matches in a row and we feel he needs to have a break at this stage,” Janse van Rensburg said.
This means Cornell Hess will start at lock, with Stefan Willemse, Paul Schoeman and Jacques Engelbrecht making up the loose trio.
Besides the missing Grey, they only change to the backline sees Dwayne Kelly get a chance at scrumhalf, with Enrico Acker starting on the bench.
Janse van Rensburg said they were disappointed with their performance against the Pumas, to whom they lost 20-9 in Nelspruit on Friday (September 23).
“We were off the pace and did not get the sort of possession we needed from the set-piece play,” Janse van Rensburg said. “We also lost the kicking game to them, not being accurate enough, and this week we need to focus on our processes and aim to play to our full potential.”
The EP Kings team is (1-15): Lizo Gqoboka, Martin Ferreira, Tom Botha, Steven Sykes (vice-captain), Cornell Hess, Paul Schoeman, Stefan Willemse, Jacques Engelbrecht, Dwayne Kelly, Karlo Aspeling, Luther Obi, Tim Whitehead (captain), JP du Plessis, Sylvian Mahuza, Scott van Breda.
Replacements (16-22): Edgar Marutlulle, Schalk Ferreira, Simon Kerrod, Thembelani Bholi, Tim Agaba, Enrico Acker, Elgar Watts.
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