Kings ready for big Stormers challenge
COACH’S COMMENT: The Southern King and Stormers will be out to test their respective squad depth, when they take each other on in a friendly encounter in Knysna on Friday, January 17.
The Southern Kings recently started the second half of their 2019/20 Pro14 season and have a crucial derby ahead against the Cheetahs – which will be played in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, January 25.
Meanwhile, the Cape Town-based Stormers is preparing for the start of their 2020 Super Rugby season.
Southern Kings interim coach Robbi Kempson confirmed that the Knysna fixture will be used by both sides to measure the depth of the two squads.
For the Kings, it will also be used as an opportunity for players returning from injury to get some game time under their belts in the new year.
“One or two of our players will be rested in view of us doing extra conditioning, and also having a couple of players coming back from injuries whom we will be able to utilise and see where they are at,” said Kempson.
“We’ll be taking a squad of about 26 players [to Knysna], which will include some of our fringe players to see how they have adapted to how things have been going.
“[We want] to see if they can make the step up should there be a need, due to injury.
“So, this will be a good opportunity to give peripheral players a good run against the Stormers.”
Kempson further added: “Having chatted to Dobbo [Stormers coach John Dobson], they will also not necessarily bring their full-strength side either.
“They will be in action at the Super Sunday a few days later. So, they will have a mixture of a few of their senior players and their junior guys.
“It will be a good opportunity for both teams to see where we are with regards to our depth in our squads, and also to see where some of our young players are.
“We will also make a few positional switches for guys like Bader Pretorius, whom we are looking to see how he goes at No.12 and at scrumhalf. And that will be the case with a few other guys.”
The match will kick-off at 19.00 at Loerie Park Sports Ground in Knysna.