Kings surprise with all-SA run-on XV

Date published: February 19 2013

Luke Watson will lead an all-South African Kings starting XV in Saturday's clash with the Western Force in Port Elizabeth.

Back-rower Luke Watson will lead an all-South African Kings starting XV in their Super Rugby opener against the Western Force in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Watson, centre Andries Strauss and hooker Bandise Maku are the only Springboks in the side.

Kenyan forward Daniel Adongo and Kiwi utility back Hadleigh Parkes are both amongst the replacements as the foreigners in the matchday squad.

The franchise's three other foreign players were not considered due to injury. Argentine scrum-half Nicolas Vergallo has been ruled out with a muscle injury in his lower body, while his compatriot, flank Tomas Leonardi, is struggling with a chest injury.

French hooker Virgile Lacombe will be sidelined for a few more weeks with a back injury.

The Kings recently included all five of their imports in a 35-man squad released to Sanzar, ignoring SARU's rule which allows only two foreign players per squad.

Kings: 15 SP Marais, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Luke Watson (c), 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 Steven Sykes, 4 David Bulbring, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Jaco Engels, 18 Daniel Adongo, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Johan Herbst, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Hadleigh Parkes.

Date: February 23
Kick-off: 19:10 local (17:10 GMT)
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry (South Africa), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
Television match official: Johann Meuwessen (South Africa)