Kings change nine for Jaguares

Date published: April 29 2016

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 25:  during the round five Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Kings at Westpac Stadium on March 25, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand.  (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Kings head coach Deon Davids has made nine changes to his starting XV, including two positional changes, for Saturday's clash with the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

The front-row is boosted by the return of Edgar Marutlulle at hooker in place of Martin Ferreira, while tighthead prop Jacobie Adriaanse moves to the bench to make way for Tom Botha in a rotational move.

JC Astle moves up from the bench to start at lock alongside captain Steven Sykes, filling in for Schalk Oelofse, who misses the Argentinian tour due to a concussion sustained during last weekend's loss to the Lions.

The loose trio remains unchanged with Chris Cloete and Thembelani Bholi at flank, while CJ Velleman returns at number eight.

Ntando Kebe comes in at scrum-half in a rotational change with James Hall, while Elgar Watts gets a start at fly-half in place of Louis Fouche, who moves to the bench.

The two positional changes see Luzuko Vulindlu moving to left wing, while Lukanyo Am moves from outside centre to right wing.

Stefan Watermeyer comes up from the bench to outside centre, playing alongside vice-captain Shane Gates, who holds his position at inside centre.

Jaco van Tonder gets his first start at full-back, following the absence of Malcolm Jaer, who is out for six weeks following a broken hand sustained during the Lions game.

"At full-back we have Jaco van Tonder, we know he can play at 15 and hasn’t had a chance to start there yet this year, and Leighton Eksteen, who can come in as a backup," said Davids.

"We felt that, at this point of time, we want to give Jaco a chance and see how he is doing."

Davids said the team was expecting a tough competition on Saturday.

"They have a good pack and will definitely come at us with driving mauls," he added.

"They’re an internationally experienced side, they love ball in hand, they love using the width of the field and love a quick game.

"We will just have to be very alert and very aware of what is happening in front of us and will have to work very hard within our structures and systems."

Davids has also included Stefan Willemse and Aidon Davis on the bench.

Kings: 15 Jaco van Tonder, 14 Lukhanyo Am, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Luzuko Vulindlu, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Ntando Kebe, 8 CJ Velleman, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 JC Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (c), 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Schalk Ferreira 
Replacements: 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 Justin Ackerman, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Stefan Willemse, 20 Aidon Davis, 21 James Hall, 22 Louis Fouche, 23 Leighton Eksteen

Date: Saturday, April 30
Venue: Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires
Kick-off: 18:40 local (21:40 GMT)
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant Referees: Federico Anselmi, Juan Sylvestre
TMO: Santiago Borsani

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