Cape Town – Kings coach Deon Davids has made four changes to his side for Saturday’s PRO14 clash against the Gwent Dragons in Wales.
The major selection is a first starting berth for the
experienced Springbok wing Bjorn Basson, who will run on in the No 11 jersey.
“Our main aim with our selections this week was to ensure
that we keep some continuity in the team, and also to broaden experience within
the squad,” Davids said about the changes.
“We are quite happy to see Bjorn Basson, our experienced
winger, making his debut.”
Other changes will see one of the side’s longest-serving
players, Andisa Ntsila, making a return to the starting XV after he came off
the bench last weekend against Zebre following an unfortunate injury that kept
him out of action in the latter part of last season.
In a rotational change, Stephan de Wit replaces Brandon
Brown at flank.
A positional switch in the backline will see Yaw Penxe, who
started on the left wing last week, moving to fullback to replace Michael Botha.
Botha, who had an impressive debut last weekend, has been ruled out of action with a groin injury.
“Andisa Ntsila was integrated into the team last week after
being out for some time with injury. We are rotating him with Ruaan Lerm at
No 8,” explained Davids.
“Unfortunately, our promising youngster and man-of-the-match
from last week, Michael Botha, did not recover efficiently from a groin injury
and will be replaced by Yaw Penxe, who moves to No15, with Ulrich Beyers giving
additional support from the bench.”
While the Kings defeated the Dragons 45-13 in
their previous encounter at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last season, the
Port Elizabeth-based side is wary of the improved Welsh side, particularly in
their own backyard.
“We expect a much improved Dragons side this weekend in
front of their home crowd. I think we can expect a very physical battle up
front. They have some evasive and quick outside backs, with their experienced
No 10 guiding them around the field,” said Davids.
“For us, it will be very important to quickly put last
week’s performance out of our heads, and to build on the good things from last
week. Obviously, we will have to ensure that we get out of our back 50 [metres]
quickly and sufficiently as possible, and also when we enter the opposition
22-metre [area] to be precise and accurate in our execution in order to turn
opportunities into points.”
15 Yaw Penxe, 14 Michael Makase, 13 Harlon Klassen, 12 Berton Klassen, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Masixole Banda, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Martinus Burger, 6 Stephan de Wit, 5 Bobby de Wee, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Luvuyo Pupuma, 2 Michael Willemse (captain), 1 Justin Forwood
Substitutes: 16 Alandre van Rooyen, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Lupumlo Mguca, 19 JC Astle, 20 Ruaan Lerm, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Martin du Toit, Ulrich Beyers