After a promising display against the Cheetahs last weekend, the Southern Kings have opted to field a relatively unchanged side to face the Lions this Saturday at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
The team sees only two changes to the starting line up, as prop Charl du Plessis returns from injury and Shane Gates gets a start at inside centre, after playing off the bench last week.
The Southern Kings struggled against the much stronger Cheetahs scrum, and bringing du Plessis into the starting line up will bring more experience to the scrum.
“Charl brings a bit more experience to the front row and more bulk,” said Southern Kings caretaker coach Robbie Kempson.
“The scrums did not go as I would have liked against the Cheetahs,” Kempson said. “We were under pressure for the majority of our scrums, so we have worked on those issues today, with an extended session on the scrumming machine,” he said.
Gates replaces Dwayne Jenner at inside centre, but the latter might have to move to outside centre if Ronnie Cooke fails a fitness test after he took a knock to the hip last week. If Jenner comes in for Cooke he will be replaced by Brian Skosana on the bench.
The Lions beat the Southern Kings in their first Super Rugby promotion / relegation match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last year, 26 – 19, but were unable to do the same when they hosted the Kings in the second at Ellispark, and went down 18 – 23.
Kick-off will be at 5pm at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. (not televised)
15 Siviwe Soyizwapi 14 Sergeal Petersen 13 Ronnie Cooke/Dwayne Jenner 12 Shane Gates 11 Micheal Killian 10 George Whitehead 9 Jaco Grobler 8 Devon Oosthuizen 7 Darron Nel (C) 6 Paul Schoeman 5 Rynier Bernado 4 Stven Sykes 3 Charl du Plessis 2 Dane van der Westhuysen 1 BG Uys
16 JC Oberholzer 17 Lizo Gqboko 18 Vukile Sofisa 19 Stephan Zaayman 20 Stefan Greeff 21 Thembelani Bholi 22 Sonwabo Majola 23 Dwayne Jenner/Brian Skosana 24 Ntabeni Dukisa