EP Kings Currie Cup Head Coach, Robbie Kempson, has announced his team to take on Vodacom Blue Bulls in the curtain raiser match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the fifth round of the 2016 Currie Cup competition on Saturday.
Kempson has once again made a number of changes to his squad, as some players have returned from the SA U20s, while others are out with injuries.
Up front Liam Hendricks retains his spot at loosehead prop, while fellow Southern Kings squad member, Martin Bezuidenhout comes in for Warrick Venter, who moves to the bench. Louis Albertse retains his spot at tighthead.
Team vice captain, Sintu Manjezi, moves from flank to lock, alongside Cornell Hess, in place of Tazz Fuzani, who is out with a concussion
JP Jonck returns at no 6 flank, with SF Nieuwoudt moving to 7 flank and Jacques Engelbrecht returning to his position at 8th man.
Among the backs Kempson has given Francios Ueckermann his first start of the tournament, with Garrick Mattheus starting at flyhalf, in place of Simon Bolze who is out for 4 to 6 weeks with an ankle injury sustained during the match in Namibia.
Sphu Msutwana moves up off the bench to left wing, while Athenkosi Mayinje retains his spot at right wing.
Jeremy Ward, who again captains the side, takes up his familiar berth at inside centre and is joined by JP du Plessis who moves to outside centre for the game.
Lindelwe Zungu shifts from wing to fullback in place of Courtney Winnaar, who is also out for 4 to 6 weeks due to an ankle injury picked up in the game against the Welwitschias.
Kempson said he was expecting a tough match against the Vodacom Blue Bulls, who had selected their strongest available side for the game.
“The team is also coming off a bye, so they will be well rested and up for the match,” he said.
Kempson said he was expecting a different game plan from the Blue Bulls team.
“The Blue Bulls have been playing a more expansive style of rugby to what we have been used to in the past so we will need to be aware of this and adapt accordingly,” he said.
15. Lindelwe Zungu
14. Athenkosi Mayinje
13. JP du Plessis
12. Jeremy Ward (Captain)
11. Siphumelelele Msutwana
10. Garrick Mattheus
09. Francois Ueckermann
08. Jacques Engelbrecht
07. SF Nieuwoudt
06. JP Jonck
05. Cornell Hess
04. Sintu Manjezi
03. Louis Albertse
02. Martin Bezuidenhout
01. Liam Hendricks
16. Warrick Venter
17. David Murray
18. Philip du Preez
19. Stephan Zaayman
20. Sibusiso Ngcokovane
21. Jordan Koekemoer
22. Somila Jho