Port Elizabeth – Aiming to create a sense of continuity, the Southern Kings have named an unchanged line-up for their Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Chiefs in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
Captain Luke Watson remains on the sidelines following a throat injury sustained in the opening game against the Western Force, while lock Darron Nell retains the captaincy.
Kings director of rugby Alan Solomons said on Wednesday that Watson would undergo further examinations this week.
“He is seeing a specialist tomorrow or Thursday and once we have feedback from that we will make a decision going forward,” Solomons said.
Friday will be the Kings’ third home game in a row, but they leave on Sunday morning for their overseas stint in the competition.
“At the start of the season, we said we wanted to get some consistency in selection, especially in the first three games, and the fact that we have been able to do that is a tribute to the players,” Solomons said.
The Super Rugby rookies started on a high with a win over the Force, but bowed to the Sharks with a 21-12 defeat on Saturday.
The Kings’ defence was outstanding against the Sharks, but coach Matt Sexton said a priority would be to achieve better ball retention.
“The Chiefs have good depth across the board so it will be another hard game,” Sexton said.
“Defensively we did well against the Sharks, but did not hold on to the ball properly and made some silly errors.
“That is something we have worked on in training and we need to make sure the guys understand the importance of holding on to the ball.”
SP Marais, Marcello Sampson, Ronnie Cooke, Andries Strauss, Sergeal Petersen, Demetri Catrakilis, Shaun Venter, Schalk Ferreira, Bandise Maku, Kevin Buys, Cornell du Preez, Darron Nell (captain), Steven Sykes, Wimpie van der Walt, Jacques Engelbrecht. Replacements: Edgar Marutlulle, Jaco Engels, David Bulbring, Daniel Adongo, Nicolas Vergallo, George Whitehead, Hadleigh Parkes. – Sapa