EP Kings team to face Western Province in opener

Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :Currie Cup, EP Kings, Original Content on 6 Aug 2014 at 08:00
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EP Kings head coach Carlos Spencer has named his team to face DHL Western Province in their opening ABSA Currie Cup match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

After leaving the field in the Kings’ second last warm-up match against the Bulls xv, Luke Watson passed the test against the Free State Cheetahs last week and will lead the Kings in their long awaited return to the Currie Cup Premier Division.

Lizo Gqoboka will scrum down at loosehead prop, with Edgar Marutlulle at hooker and new signing Tom Botha at tighthead prop. Australian lock, Steve Cummins will partner with David Bullbring to make up the tight five.

Flankers Thembelani Bholi and Stefan Willemse together with Watson will form the loose trio.

Former Italian scrumhalf, Tobias Botes gets a start with former Western Province flyhalf Gary van Aswegen. Shane Gates and former Sharks center Tim Whitehead will partner in midfield at inside and outside center respectively. Paceman Siviwe Soyizwapi and Ronnie Cooke form the outside backs with Scott van Breda taking up the last line of defence.

Springbok prop CJ van der Linde will make his debut off the bench for the Kings.

“Yes, we did have a few headaches when it came to choosing the team, there were a number of players who have put their hand up in the pre season, and it wasn’t easy to finalise the team,” said Spencer.

He said while it was a definite shift in gears to Currie Cup, the focus was on the game ahead against Western Province and keeping things relaxed amongst the players ahead of the game.

“We really want to keep the players as calm and relaxed as possible and that they must enjoy the week ahead of the game,” he said.

EP Kings:
1 Lizo Gqoboka 2 Edgar Marutlulle 3 Tom Botha 4 Steven Cummins 5 David Bulbring 6 Thembelani Bholi 7 Stefan Willemse 8 Luke Watson (C) 9 Tobie Botes 10 Gary van Aswegen 11 Siviwe Soyizwapi 12 Shane Gates 13 Tim Whitehead 14 Ronnie Cooke 15 Scott van Breda

Replacements: 16 Albé de Swardt 17 CJ van der Linde 18 Darron Nell 19 Aidon Davis 20 Kevin Luiters 21 George Whitehead 22 Ntabeni Dukisa

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