The final Super Rugby match on Saturday in Super Rugby is in Port Elizabeth where the Southern Kings will host the Lions.
The Southern Kings have never played the Lions in Super Rugby. The two teams met twice in 2013 for a series of promotion/relegation matches but in Super Rugby they have never met before.
The Lions top the Africa 2 Conference while the Southern Kings are the last placed team in that conference. The Lions have won five out of seven matches and the Kings have one out six matches.
The Kings only victory was against the Sunwolves and they have a negative points differential of -151. Unsurprisingly given their financial difficulties since last year the Kings are struggling this year.
The Kings have made nine changes to the side that lost 6-38 to the Bulls before last week’s bye. Captain Steven Sykes changes to right lock, while Schalk Oelofse comes up from the bench to left lock, to rotate with JC Astle.
In the tight five sees Schalk Ferreira starts in place of Sti Sithole at loosehead, Martin Ferreira in pace of Edgar Marutlulle at hooker. Jacobie Adriaanse returns to tighthead – having recovered from a rib injury – in place of Tom Botha, who moves to the bench,
Chris Cloete retains his position at 6 flank, and is joined by Thembelani Bholi, who makes his return from a knee injury in place of Stefan Willemse.
CJ Velleman comes up from the bench in place of Aidon Davis at 8th man. , At the back, the scrumhalf and flyhalf pairing remain the same, with James Hall and Louis Fouche respectively.
Malcolm Jaer is at fullback in place of Jurgen Visser, which see’s JP du Plessis move up from the bench to start at left wing. Shane Gates returns from a foot injury that saw him sit out the Bulls game, and will once again be vice captain. Gates replaces Watermeyer, who moves to the
Lukhanyo Am retains his spot at outside centre, with Luzuko Vulindlu staying on at right wing.
The Lions have also rung the changes but they have limited their to six. Coach Johan Ackermann has named a new look front row made up Corne Fourie, Armand van der Merwe and Ruan Dreyer.
Cyle Brink comes into the starting line up at flank, Faf de Klerk returns to the starting line up and Howard Mnisi starts at centre.
Statistically the Southern Kings have never beaten South African opposition in Super Rugby and they have lost five of their last six matches at home.
The Bookies have given the Kings a 25 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. The Lions are heavily favoured to win this match. They should win this match with a bonus point by at least 20.
This Match will be shown on TV in NZ (Sky), Aus (Fox Sports), SA (SuperSport) and in the UK on Sky Sports 4.
Average score: N/A
Match No.69:Kings v Lions
Date : Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Venue : Saturday 23 April 2016
Kick Off local: 17:10 local
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 1:Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Ref 2:AJ Jacobs
TMO :Christie du Preez
15. Malcolm Jaer , 14. Luzuko Vulindlu , 13. Lukhanyo Am , 12. Shane Gates , 11. JP du Plessis , 10. Louis Fouche , 09. James Hall , 08. CJ Velleman , 07. Thembelani Bholi , 06. Chris Cloete , 05. Steven Sykes (C) , 04. Schalk Oelofse , 03. Jacobie Adriaanse , 02. Martin Ferreira , 01. Schalk Ferreira
Replacements: 16. Martin Bezuidenhoudt , 17. Tom Botha , 18. Justin Ackerman , 19. JC Astle , 20. Jacques Engelbrecht , 21. Ntando Kebe , 22. Stefan Watermeyer , 23. Leighton Eksteen
15 Jaco van der Walt, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (C), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Corne Fourie
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Jaco Kriel, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 JW Bell, 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg