Cape Town – Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold says they
will by no means be underestimating the Southern Kings in their Super Rugby
opener in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
The Kings return to the competition for the first time since
2013, but their preparation to the new 18-team event has tumultuous to say the
Financial problems at the EP Rugby Union saw the players go
unpaid – a situation that became so severe that the South African Rugby Union
(SARU) had to step in and take charge of the Southern Kings franchise for Super
On paper, the Kings squad looks significantly weaker than the other
South African franchises, but the Sharks are taking nothing for granted.
“Playing the Kings this weekend will be a challenging first
task,” said Gold. “We believe they have gelled well in the last couple of weeks,
through adversity. We will give them a lot of respect because they are a very
dangerous outfit and we know that throughout this season they’ll want to make
Kings coach Deon Davids assured fans that his charges
will be well prepared.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to be back in Super
Rugby, even though we had a late start in terms of our preparations, and I can
assure you that the players wearing the jersey will do their utmost best,” said
“This will be the first game of the season for both us and
the Sharks so it may be tight at first, with the game opening up later once the
sides have sussed each other out.”
Kick-off for Saturday’s clash at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
is scheduled for 15:05.
15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Luzuko Vulindlu, 13 JP du Plessis, 12
Shane Gates, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Ntando Kebe, 8 Jacques
Engelbrecht, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 JC Astle, 4 Steven Sykes
(captain), 3 Tom Botha, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Substitutes: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Louis
Albertse, 19 Schalk Oelofse, 20 Cyril-John Velleman, 21 Leighton Eksteen, 22
Louis Fouche, 23 Charles Radebe
15. Willie le Roux, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12.
Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Joe Pietersen, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8.
Daniel du Preez, 7. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Hyron Andrews, 4.
Etienne Oosthuizen, 3. Coenie Oosthuizen, 2. Franco Marais, 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Juan Schoeman, 18. Lourens
Adriaanse, 19. Dave McDuling, 20. Philip van der Walt, 21. Michael Claassens,
22. Garth April, 23. S’bura Sithole