CAPE TOWN – The Kings have named their side to play in the crucial Super Rugby promotion/relegation match against the Lions at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
The loser of the two match series won’t be back to play Super Rugby in 2014.
Kings Director of Rugby Alan Solomons has made sure to name his strongest possible side.
“Andries [Strauss] was the one player who was not considered because of his broken hand, but it has presented a great opportunity for Shane Gates to come up to the starting fifteen,” he said.
Solomons said there was a fair amount of consistency in the team, with many pairings having played together throughout the season.
The pack remains relatively unchanged, with Schalk Ferreira, Bandise Maku and Kevin Buys, while loose trio Wimpie van der Walt, Jacques “Vleis” Engelbrecht and Cornell du Preez will be looking to make a significant impact in play.
Kings head coach Matt Sexton said there was an air of excitement among the players ahead of the game.
“I think the general feeling we have is excitement, it’s a huge occasion. It’s like a test match or world cup final. The guys are looking forward to it.”
Lions coach Johan Ackermann welcomes back Elton Jantjies and Martin Bezuidenhout from the Stormers.
He says the players have adjusted well.
“Each one is in quite a critical position. The hookers and the locks are crucial for the line outs and scrums and then Elton is back at ten. As they came back, they brought that leadership back. I thought it was the logical choice [to pick them].
“They all slotted in well and got everything sorted out and we’re confident that they will play as they did in their last game.”
Article source: http://ewn.co.za/2013/07/23/Kings-and-Lions-in-do-or-die-match