Experienced Pretorius on Kings bench for Edinburgh clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Southern Kings head coach Deon Davids named his matchday squad of 23 on Friday for the side’s opening Pro14 match for 2019.
The Port Elizabeth-based side will be taking on Scottish side Edinburgh in a Round 13 encounter at Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday.
The forwards will have a front row that will start together for the first time as former Junior Springbok loosehead prop Alulutho Tshakweni gets his first starting berth alongside tighthead Pieter Scholtz and hooker Alandre van Rooyen, who returns to the team after missing out of action in the Isuzu Southern Kings’ last match of 2018 with a concussion.
In the backline, Masixole Banda returns to fullback after playing at flyhalf against Benetton in the side’s previous match, with Martin du Toit returning to flyhalf. The centre pairing will see Harlon Klaasen once again partnering with Tertius Kruger. Wing Michael Makase also finds himself back in the starting XV for the Edinburgh clash.
“The guys have worked hard as we ended 2018 preparing for this opening match of the New Year. We have been fortunate to be able to select a strong side for this match and have maintained some consistency in our selection,” Davids said.
The side has also been boosted with the return of some players from injuries.
Experienced scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius will make his debut for the Southern Kings from the bench on Saturday after nursing a foot injury he sustained before the start of the 2018/19 season.
Also making a return to the side is hooker Michael Willemse, who will provide cover from the bench after recovering from a shoulder injury.
“We are happy to have guys like Sarel Pretorius and Michael Willemse back from injury. Their return gives us a bit of depth and experience on the bench. We hope that they will be able to give us the impact we will be looking for later on in the match,” said the head coach.
Edinburgh: 15 Dougie Fife, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 George Taylor, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Nathan Fowles, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Luke Crosbie, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Callum Hunter-Hill, 4 Fraser McKenzie (captain), 3 Simon Berghan, 2 David Cherry, 1 Rory Sutherland.
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 Ally Miller, 21 Charlie Shiel, 22 Jaco van der Walt, 23 James Johnstone.
Southern Kings: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Michael Makase, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Martin Du Toit, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Martinus Burger, 6 Cyril-John Velleman, 5 John-Charles Astle (captain), 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Alandre Van Rooyen, 1 Alulutho Tshakweni.
Replacements: 16 Michael Willemse, 17 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 18 Luvuyo Pupuma, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Andries van Schalkwyk, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Berton Klaasen, 23 Ntabeni Dukisa.
Date: Saturday, January 5
Venue: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 19.35 (19.35 GMT; 21.35 SA time)
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Johnny Erskine (Ireland) Hollie Davidson (Scotland)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)
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