With the promotion / relegation for Super Rugby something of the past, and the departure of a few Southern Kings players, the EP Kings can now start focusing on getting their 1st Division campaign back on track and a possible promotion to the Premier Division of the ABSA Currie Cup.
After last weeks somewhat embarrassing win against the Border Bulldogs, 9 – 6, the Kings have cleaned house and brought in some reinforcements for their game against log leaders the Pumas. Only three players from the Kings starting 15 that played against Border will start against the Pumas.
Tighthead prop Lizo Gqoboka, inside center Tiger Mangweni and wing Marcello Sampson are the only players to keep their starting positions from last week. The changes amongst the forwards see Hannes Franklin coming in at hooker, Darren Nel partnering Steven Sykes in the middle of the scrum and fellow Super Rugby campaigners Devin Oosthuizen and Cornell du Preez forming the loose trio with Tim Agaba.
The backs will also see some familiar Super Rugby names, Scott van Breda moves in at fullback with Michael Killian joining Sampson on the wing. Ronnie Cooke will partner Mangweni in the mid field and George Whitehead will form the half back combination with Argentine Nicolas Vergallo.
The Kings find themselves in a rather unfortunate 4th position on the log and 11 points behind log leaders, the Pumas. As the competition moves into its second round there is still a good chance for the Kings to reach the final, but they would need some help from the other teams to reach that all important top spot and a guaranteed promotion / relegation against the bottom of the log in the Premier Division.
15 Scott van Breda 14 Micheal Killian 13 Ronnie Cooke 12 Siyabonga Mangweni (V/C) 11 Marcello Sampson 10 George Whitehead 9 Nicholas Vergallo 8 Cornel du Preez 7 Tim Agaba 6 Devin Oosthuizen 5 Steven Sykes 4 Darron Nell (C) 3 Lizo Gqoboka 2 Hannes Franklin 1 Brendon Olivier
16 Albie de Swartd 17 Enoch Mnyaka 18 Rynier Bernardo 19 Stefan Willemse 20 Yusuf “Boela” Abrahams 21 Ntabeni Dukisa 22 Siyanda GreyTweet