Isuzu Southern Kings second-rower, Andries “Dries” van Schalkwyk, will lead the Port Elizabeth-based side onto the field on Sunday when they take on Welsh side, the Dragons, in the Guinness PRO14 Round 19 match at Nelson Mandela University’s Madibaz Stadium on Sunday. Kick-off is at 15h00.
The experienced 34-year-old will be playing in his 100th Guinness PRO14 match, joining nine other South African-born players to have done so in the championship – namely, Robbie Diack (167), Brett Wilkinson (134), Rob Herring (130), BJ Botha (122), Rhys M. Thomas (121), DTH van der Merwe (119), Richardt Strauss (113), George Earle (107) and Ruaan Pienaar (100).
Van Schalkwyk will be in a forwards pack that will see only two changes to the team that gallantly went down to Ulster Rugby in their previous Guinness PRO14 outing a fortnight ago.
Fellow veteran, Schalk Ferreira, will be back in the starting line-up at loosehead prop where he will swap spots with youngster, Alulutho Tshakweni, who will be on the bench on Sunday.
Andisa Ntsila will also earn a spot in the starting XV, in the No6 jersey where he replaces Henry “Bakkies” Brown, who is being rested after sustaining a concussion in the match against Ulster in Belfast.
In the backline, centre Harlon Klaasen returns to the team where he will pair up with Tertius Kruger for the midfield partnership, while the nippy and elusive Masixole Banda will regain his starting berth, exchanging spots with Ulrich Beyers, who will start on the bench this week.
“We are going all out to get positive results in the remaining three games. I think we owe that to ourselves. The Dragons, together with Ospreys and the Cheetahs – all of whom we still need to play, are three formidable teams,” said Head Coach Deon Davids.
“The Dragons seem to be on an upward curve if you look at their run in the last five games. They lost narrowly to Munster, they beat Edinburgh. So it is going to be a tough game for us. But being at home and having the opportunity to play at home should give us a boost.”
Van Schalkwyk will share the spotlight with Berton Klaasen, who will be playing in his 50th match for the Isuzu Southern Kingsfranchise when he makes his way onto the field from the bench on Sunday.
Klaasen will provide midfield cover from the bench.
The Isuzu Southern Kings team is:
|Shirt no.||Player (surname then first name)
|4||Van Schalkwyk Andries|
|5||Astle John-Charles ©|
|16||Van Rooyen Alandre|
|20||De Wit Stephan|
|21||Van Rooyen Rudi|
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