Wounded Kings' test of depth
A number of injuries have forced Southern Kings Director of Rugby Alan Solomons to test the depth of his squad in the match against the Lions on Saturday.
Solomons explained that with eight players currently unavailable for selection the team for the friendly encounter at Ellis Park this weekend is not a full-strength outfit.
"We have taken a number of injuries to our players, which means that to a large degree the selection of our squad was taken out of our hands," he said.
S.P. Marais, has only just been cleared for contact training sessions, and Siviwe Soyizwapi, who suffered a back strain last week during practice, is out for two to four weeks.
Flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis is still recovering from a sore shoulder and has only recently been cleared for full contact and Shaun Venter is suffering from a groin strain following the match against SWD Franchise XV over the weekend.
Kevin Buys, who had a stiff back after the SWD game has not been cleared by the medical team and Virgile Lacombe, who popped a rib during the SWD game, is out for three to six weeks.
Lock Steven Sykes, who is still undergoing rehab following last season, and will not be played following medical advice, whilst captain Luke Watson has only just begun full training following his ankle injury last year, and will not be available following medical advice.
"The positive from this though, is that circumstances have given us the opportunity to allow our wider squad to take part," said Solomons.
Solomons said he was confident that Darron Nell will do well in the position of captain, having had to sit out previous warm up matches due to injury.
Southern Kings: 15 Elric van Vuuren, 14 Marcello Sampson, 13 Wayne Stevens, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Siyanda Grey, 10 Wesley Dunlop, 9 Johan Herbst, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Mpho Mbiyozo, 6 Rynier Bernado, 5 Darron Nell (captain), 4 Tomas Leonardi, 3 Grant Kemp, 2 Boetie Britz, 1 Lizo Gqoboko.
Replacements: 16 Dane van der Westhuizen, 17 Khwezi Mkhafu, 18 Ross Gelbenhuys, 19 Daniel Adongo, 20 Thabo Mamojelle, 21 Scott Mathie, 22 George Whitehead, 23Scott van Breda.
Date: Saturday, February 9
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 14.15 (12.15 GMT)
Referee: Marius Jonker