EP Kings will be without prop duo CJ van der Linde and Charles Marais for their final league fixture of the season, against the Pumas.
Eastern Province Kings will be minus props CJ van der Linde and Charles Marais for their final league game of the season, against the Pumas.
Friday’s fixture in Port Elizabeth will see Van der Linde (toe) and Marais (broken thumb) ruled out and replaced by BG Uys and Simon Kerrod.
While Kings forwards coach Shaun Sowerby acknowledged the loss of Van der Linde’s experience, he felt the replacements would be up to the task as the Kings look to avoid a whitewash this season after nine straight league defeats.
“CJ added a lot to the group with his skills and stature and Charles was scrumming well, so they will be a loss,” Sowerby said of the injuries.
“But we have some young players who will be keen to take this opportunity and to do well so I don’t believe we will have a problem up front.”
The Kings also promoted lock Darron Nell, who would lead the side, and full-back Scott van Breda from the bench, with Steven Cummins and Ntabeni Dukisa named among the replacements. Siviwe Soyiswapi moved from fullback to wing.
Nell is back after nursing a calf injury and said he knew the Pumas would be fired up.
“We know they will come out firing, but from our point of view we really want to end off well,” he said.
“We want to pull off a win especially to thank the crowd who have been so supportive of us this season. We know what the Pumas will bring to the game, but we are not too worried about that. Rather we are focused on what can do and do that well.
“We don’t dwell on the nine losses and are building on the positives we have from the last few weeks to make sure we put our game plan together.”
EP Kings: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Ronnie Cooke, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Tobie Botes, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Devin Oosthuizen, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Darron Nell (captain), 3 BG Uys, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Simon Kerrod.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Charl du Plessis, 18 Lizo Gqoboka, 19 Steven Cummins, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Jaco Grobler, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa.
Date: Friday, October 10
Kick-off: 19:10 local (18:10 BST)
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Referee: Marius Jonker
Assistant referees: Christie du Preez, Tahla Ntshakaza
Television match official: Jason Jaftha