The Isuzu Southern Kings will potentially make six changes to their team that will take on Edinburgh Rugby in Round 14 of the Guinness PRO14 at the Nelson Mandela University’s Madibaz Stadium on Saturday.
A combination of rotation of the squad and new injuries have led Isuzu Southern Kings Head Coach Deon Davids to make some personnel changes to the team that narrowly went down to the Toyota Cheetahs a week ago.
The backline will see one forced change at centre, where Berton Klaasen has been ruled out of action this week after sustaining an eye injury. His place in the starting XV will be taken by Harlon Klaasen.
The change will bring about a positional switch in the midfield which will see Tertius Kruger, who started at outside centre last week, donning the No12 jersey with Harlon Klaasen playing at outside centre.
Tighthead prop Luvuyo Pupuma will make a return to the starting lineup, replacing Nicolaas Oosthuizen.
Experienced former Italian international, Andries van Schalkwyk, will also start alongside captain JC Astle in the second row, with Stephan Greeff going onto the bench.
Blindside flanker Martinus “Tienie” Burger will also start this week ahead of Henry “Bakkies” Brown, while No8 Andisa Ntsila returns to the starting XV in the place of Ruaan Lerm, who will not be part of the match-day squad this week due to personal reasons.
A late call will be made regarding the starting loosehead prop for the match between veteran Schalk Ferreira and youthful Alulutho Tshakweni.
The 34-year-old Ferreira sustained a knock to his back at training this week. While he has been making good progress, the medical team has been practicing caution and will make a late call on his availability for the clash on Saturday.
Should Ferreira take to the field, the 20-year-old Tshakweni will start on the bench and Oosthuizen will drop out of the match-23 squad.
“We have had a good week of preparations,” said Davids. “But it has not been without its hiccups as we unfortunately lost Berton Klaasen with an eye injury. We are also keeping a close eye on Schalk Ferreira with his minor back issue. We will make a late call on his participation in the match.”
Fijian, Meli Rokoua, will also make a return to the team from the bench.
The Isuzu Southern Kings will also have a new face on the bench in flyhalf Bader Pretorius.
The 21-year-old former Lions pivot will provide No10 after joining the Isuzu Southern Kings this week.
“We are pleased to have Bader Pretorius joining us. He arrived at the start of this week and has adjusted quickly and smoothly to our structures. He is a young talent whom we expect good things from.”
The match between the Isuzu Southern Kings and Edinburgh will kick off at 17h15 on Saturday.
Tickets for the match are available at all TicketPro outlets, and will also be on sale at the Madibaz Stadium gates for only R20.
The Isuzu Southern Kings:
15 Masixole Banda
14 Yaw Penxe
13 Harlon Klaasen
12 Tertius Kruger
11 Bjorn Basson
10 Ntabeni Dukisa
9 Stefan Ungerer
1 Schalk Ferreira / Alulutho Tshakweni
2 Michael Willemse
3 Luvuyo Pupuma
4 Andries Van Schalkwyk
5 John-Charles Astle (C)
6 Cyril John Velleman
7 Martinus Burger
8 Andisa Ntsila
16 Alandre Van Rooyen
17 Lupumlo Mguca
18 Alulutho Tshakweni/ Nicolaas Oosthuizen
19 Stephan Greeff
20 Henry Brown
21 Sarel Pretorius
22 Bader Pretorius
23 Meli Rokoua