EP Kings Currie Cup Head Coach, Robbi Kempson, has announced his team to take on the Border Bulldogs in the third round of the 2016 Currie Cup competition on Saturday.
Kempson has made three changes to his starting lineup, with Jeremy Ward returning from the SA U20 camp to take up the captaincy and returns to inside centre in place of Siphumelele Msutwana.
Nicolaas Oosthuizen replaces David Murray at loosehead prop, while Athenkosi Mayinje moves up from the bench to replace Jixie Molapo on wing.
Kempson said Murray had bruised ribs following the game against Boland, while Molapo was out with a knee injury that could see him sidelined for the next 4 to 6 months.
On the bench Tango Balekile, who also returned from the SA U20 setup, takes JP Jamieson’s spot at 16, while Gregory Jackson comes in as replacement prop. Chuma Faas also joins the bench in place of Davron Cameron, who has sustained a meniscus tear.
Keanu Vers comes in for Mayinje who starts.
Kempson said he was expecting a tough match against Border.
“It will be one of those derbies that we have come to grow and love. From a size point of view they have a big side. The manner in which they pay is very direct and they have backs with a lot of pace,” he said.
“They tend to throw the ball around a bit, but certainly they have a large pack of forwards that the players will have to front up to,” he said.
Kempson said the team had been working hard on cutting down the error rate, and had already seen a marked improvement during the game against Boland.
“We dominated the set pieces, both scrums and lineouts, and while there was a large score against us it was not a real reflection of how the guys played,” he said.
Vice Captain, Manjezi, said the players had focused on their defensive structures ahead of the game.
“Border are big and are going to be running hard at us. We have been focusing on our defensive lines and reducing the space to slow them down,” he said.
The game will be played at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, on Saturday, 23 April with kickoff at 14:00 as a curtain raiser to the Vodacom Super Rugby match between the Southern Kings and the Emirates Lions.
15. Courtney Winnaar
14. Athenkosi Mayinje
13. Somila Jho
12. Jeremy Ward (C)
11. Lindelwe Zungu
10. Simon Bolze
09 .Franswa Ueckermann
08. Junior Pokomela
07. Sintu Manjezi (VC)
06. JP Jonck
05. Cornell Hess
04. Mthetheleli Tazz Fuzani
03. Louis Albertse
02. Warrick Venter
01. Nicolaas Oosthuizen
16. Tango Balekile
17 Gregory Jackson
18. Philip Du Preez
19. Stephanus SF Nieuwoudt
20. Chuma Faas
21. Riaan Esterhuizen
22. Keanu Vers