The Eastern Province Kings will be taking an unchanged team, bar one, to face the Xerox Golden Lions at Ellis Park in Johannesburg this Saturday afternoon.
EP Kings Head Coach, Carlos Spencer, announced just one change to the team, which will once again be led by Luke Watson, with Steven Sykes coming onto the bench in place of Darron Nel.
Up Front Lizo Gqoboka will once again start at loosehead prop, Edgar Marutlulle at hooker and Tom Botha at tighthead prop, while Steven Cummins and David Bulbring team up as locks to make up the tight five.
Thembelani Bholi and Stefan Willemse will remain on inside and outside flank respectively, while Watson returns at No 8. Tobie Botes once again starts at the much contested spot of scrumhalf, with Gary van Aswegen opening at flyhalf.
Ronnie Cooke returns to wing alongside Siviwe Soyizwapi, with Shane Gates and Tim Whitehead at inside and outside Centre respectively. Scott van Breda takes his spot at fullback.
Joining Sykes on the bench are Albé de Swardt, CJ van der Linde, Aidon Davis, Kevin Luiters, George Whitehead and Ntabeni Dukisa.
Spencer said the team were looking forward to the game against the Lions on Saturday.
“They are probably not as physical (as Western Province) but they’re more of ball players and their work rate is high. They get around the pitch, not only defensively but with ball in hand as well,” he said.
Spencer said he wasn’t disappointed in the team following last week’s defeat by DHL Western Province, chalking it up to first game jitters.
“There are still a lot of games to come and I said to the boys did they watch the rugby on the weekend and how open this competition is.
“I believe anyone can beat anyone on the day. I believe some of them had first day game jitters last week so hopefully they have gotten those out of the way that is why we have decided to stick to the same starting fifteen and haven’t made any changes.”
“We’re showing our faith and our confidence in this group to do the job this week,” he said.
- Starting Lineup: 1. Lizo Gqoboka, 2. Edgar Marutlulle, 3. Tom Botha, 4. Steven Cummins, 5. David Bulbring, 6. Thembelani Bholi, 7. Stefan Willemse, 8. Luke Watson (Captain), 9. Tobie Botes, 10. Gary van Aswegen, 11. Siviwe Soyizwapi, 12. Shane Gates, 13. Tim Whitehead, 14. Ronnie Cooke, 15. Scott van Breda
- Replacements: 16. Albé de Swardt, 17. CJ van der Linde, 18. Steven Sykes, 19. Aidon Davis, 20. Kevin Luiters, 21. George Whitehead, 22. Ntabeni Dukisa
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