Southern Kings Super Rugby head coach Deon Davids has been forced to name a team with three changes for this weekend’s match against the Brumbies at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Following the side’s closely contested 35-32 win over the Sharks last week, casualties on the injury list included instrumental loose-forward Chris Cloete (concussion) and fullback Masixole Banda (hamstring).
A late withdrawal at training on Thursday morning forced lock, Wilhelm van der Sluys, to be withdrawn from participating in this weekend’s match with a groin injury.
Stefan Willemse, who has been on the bench for the Southern Kings’ last two matches, will slot in the No6 jersey as a replacement for Cloete, while Namibian international Chrysander Botha will start at fullback in Banda’s place.
Lubabalo Mtyanda will don the No5 jersey as a replacement for Van der Sluys.
Mzwanele Zito will slot in on the bench as lock cover, while Thembelani Bholi makes a return to the team as loose-forward cover.
“I think we had a good week, but unfortunately we lost a bit of continuity with some of our players out with injury. However, I am happy for the guys that will now get an opportunity, and they are quite eager to get this chance. It is up to them to show that they can step up,” Davids said.
“Cloete’s performances speak for themselves – he is a quality player. It will be difficult to get the exact same performance from any other player, but different players bring different attributes.In this case, Stefan Willemse, combining with Andy (Andisa Ntsila) will bring something different.
“Van der Sluys has been a key man for us in the line-out. We have used Tyler Paul there before and also Giant (Lubabalo Mtyanda) is an experienced guy. I don’t think there will be too many disctructions, I think they can pull it off.”
Davids is expecting a tough encounter against the Brumbies.
“We have been looking at our execution and where opportunities may be against the Brumbies. We will have to work very hard to get over that advantage line, to maintain momentum and to hold on to the ball,” the head coach said.
“There is a lot of experience and strong, physical guys in their midst. They are dangerous attackers also, so it will be a good challenge.”
15. Chrysander Botha ,14. Alshaun Bock,13. Berton Klaasen,12. Luzuko Vulindlu,11. Makazole Mapimpi,10. Lionel Cronje ©,9. Louis Schreuder,8. Andisa Ntsila, 7. Tyler Paul ,6. Stefan Willemse ,5. Lubabalo Mtyanda ,4. Irne Herbst ,3. Ross Geldenhuys ,2. Martin Bezuidenhout ,1. Schalk van der Merwe
Replacements:16. Kurt Haupt ,17. Chris Heiberg ,18. Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19. Mzwanele Zito ,20. Thembelani Bholi ,21. Johan Steyn ,22. Pieter-Steyn de Wet ,23. Nicolaas Hanekom