Edmund Ludick will earn his Isuzu Southern Kings and Guinness PRO14 debut with a starting berth while Luyolo Dapula will also make his first appearance off the bench when the Port Elizabeth-based side takes on Munster Rugby in a Guinness PRO14 Round 11 clash at the Irish Independent Park in Cork on Friday.
The versatile 21-year-old Ludick replaces the injured Yaw Penxe at wing, with Dapula (also 21) providing loose-forward cover from the bench.
It will also be a special occasion for one of the Isuzu Southern Kings’ longest serving players, Ruaan Lerm, who will run on for the 50th time in Kings colours.
JC Astle, who will resume his duties as captain this week, congratulated the trio on their imminent milestones.
“We obviously have a very special night tomorrow night with Lerries earning his 50th cap for the franchise, and also Eddie and Dapula making their debuts,” said the captain.
“We are really excited for them as a squad, and we are excited to see them play and for us to play for them tomorrow.”
Other changes in the starting XV will see Lusanda Badiyana and Bobby de Wee earning starts alongside Lerm as the loose trio. Badiyana will don the No6 jersey while De Wee will start at blindside flank.
Erich Cronje shifts from having featured on the wing in the previous two matches against the Cheetahs to playing at inside centre, where he partners up with Sibusiso Sithole. Christopher Hollis returns to the starting XV at right wing.
The Isuzu Southern Kings touring group has settled in well in Ireland since arriving on Tuesday and is looking forward to a close encounter against a strong Munster outfit.
“We were greeted by a bit of snow when we arrived in Cork on Tuesday, but it didn’t last long. Anyway, the boys are very excited for Friday night – our energies are high,” said Astle.
“We’ll be heading into tomorrow night with a lot of confidence and a desire to give it our best.”
The Isuzu Southern Kings team to face Munster Rugby is:
FORWARDS (1-8): Schalk Ferreira, Jacques du Toit, Rossouw de Klerk, Jerry Sexton, JC Astle (C), Lusanda Badiyana, Bobby de Wee, Ruaan Lerm.
BACKLINE (9-15): Stefan Ungerer, Demetri Catrakilis, Edmund Ludick, Erich Cronje, Sibusiso Sithole, Christopher Hollis, Andell Loubser.
REPLACEMENTS (16-23): Alandre van Rooyen, Xandre Vos, Ignatius Prinsloo, Aston Fortuin, Thembelani Bholi, Luyolo Dapula, Josh Allderman, Courtney Winnaar.
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