Cape Town – The Southern Kings have made two changes to
their starting line-up for the Super Rugby clash against the Crusaders in
Christchurch on Saturday (08:35 SA time).
Head coach Deon Davids has replaced Edgar Marutlulle at
hooker with Martin Ferreira, while scrumhalf Kevin Luiters comes up from the
bench to start in place of Ntando Kebe.
“Edgar put in a sterling performance against the Chiefs
last week and the move is in no way an indictment on his performance,” he
Davids said Luiters had been given the chance to start,
having played off the bench last week after returning from injury.
“Ntando has started for us in two games now, so it’s
more of a rotational move, with Kevin also bringing a bit of experience to the
field,” he said.
Aside from Marutlulle and Kebe, JP du Plessis also comes in
on the bench in place of Jaco van Tonder, who did not join the team on tour.
Davids said he was expecting a tough match on Saturday.
“The Crusaders are a well balanced team and we are
expecting this match to be an exceptional challenge for us as a team,” he
Davids said the team was focused on improving on their
performance game by game.
“We have only had one practice session so far this
week, due to the long trip, so we have tried to cover some of the issues we
identified from the last game.
“We have also spoken a lot about concentration,
specifically in the ten minutes before and after half time,” he said.
Captain Steven Sykes said the players were settling in well
after their long journey to New Zealand and had had a productive training
session on Thursday.
“This was our first training session since we arrived
and was very productive, with a lot of positives that we can hopefully take
into the match with us,” he said.
Sykes said the team was expecting a tough game against the
“I told the team that this is probably going to be the
toughest game of the competition. The Crusaders are a great team, In all my
years playing, I have never played against a weak Crusaders team,” he
Sykes said the forwards were confident in their set piece,
having held their own in the first two games of the season.
“I think the guys are ready for the match, we just need
to focus on cutting out some of the soft moments in the game and making less
errors,” he said.
15 Marty McKenzie, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia,
12 David Havili, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8
Jimmy Tupou, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Luke
Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett
Substitutes: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Mike
Alaalatoa, 19 Tim Boys, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Leon Fukofuka, 22 Ryan Crotty, 23 Jone
15. Jurgen Visser, 14. Luzuko Vulindlu, 13. Stefan
Watermeyer, 12. Shane Gates, 11. Malcolm Jaer, 10. Louis Fouche, 9. Kevin
Luiters, 8. Jacques Engelbrecht, 7. Thembelani Bholi, 6. Chris Cloete, 5. JC
Astle, 4. Steven Sykes (captain), 3. Jacobie Adriaanse, 2. Martin Ferreira, 1.
Substitutes: 16. Edgar Marutlulle, 17. Sti Sithole, 18. Tom
Botha, 19. Schalk Oelofse, 20. CJ Velleman, 21. Ntando Kebe, 22. Elgar Watts,
23. JP Du Plessis