Southern Kings head coach Deon Davids has named his Super Rugby team to play the Sharks in Durban with Steven Sykes as captain.
Davids also confirmed that Schalk Ferreira will also return having missed two games due to injury
“Unfortunately Edgar Marutlulle is sick with flu and the doctor has recommended that he sits this game out. Martin Ferreira takes his place and Martin Bezuidenhout comes up on the bench,” said Davids.
Davids also confirmed that JC Astle would move onto the bench with Schalk Oelofse starting alongside Sykes.
“JC has played nearly 80 minutes every game, so this is a chance just to manage him a bit better,” he said.
Davids said the decision to bring in Stefan Willemse, and Jacques Engelbrecht at flank was to match the physicality of the Sharks pack.
At the back, Davids has brought JP du Plessis on at outside centre to fill in for Stefan Watermeyer, who is out with a tendon injury to his foot.
Cornell Hess comes up onto the bench to fill the spot opened up by Oelofse starting.
Davids said the loss of Sykes, Velleman and Cloete was a big blow to the team but also meant opportunities for the other players.
Davids also pointed out the rotation of Jacobie Adriaanse and Tom Botha.
Davids said he was happy to have both Sykes and Schalk Ferreira, two of the most experienced players, back ahead of the game against the Sharks, but was confident that the team would provide bring their all to the game.
“I think all the players have the ability to make an impact. for example, I think that, while we have lost both CJ Velleman and Chris Cloete, Stefan Willemse and Aidon Davis have both shown that they can make an impact,” he said.
Davids said that they team would be focusing on getting the basics and making the right decisions throughout the game. ,
15. Jurgen Visser , 14. Lukhanyo Am , 13. JP du Plessis , 12. Shane Gates (VC) , 11. Luzuko Vulindlu , 10. Louis Fouche , 09. Ntando Kebe , 08. Aidon Davis , 07. Thembelani Bholi , 06. Stefan Willemse , 05. Schalk Oelofse , 04. Steven Sykes (C) , 03. Jacobie Adriaanse , 02. Martin Ferreira , 01. Schalk Ferreira
Replacements : 16. Martin Bezuidenhout , 17. Justin Ackerman , 18. Tom Botha , 19. JC Astle , 20. Jacques Engelbrecht , 21. Kevin Luiters , 22. Elgar Watts , 23. Leighton Eksteen