Planet Rugby

Whitehead worry for Kings

26th August 2014 16:22

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Touch and go: Tim Whitehead

The Eastern Province Kings are sweating over the availability of centre Tim Whitehead for their Currie Cup clash against the Golden Lions at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The chances were good that Whitehead would make a recovery from a knee injury, Kings coach Carlos Spencer said on Tuesday as the Eastern Cape side try to arrest a slide of three consecutive defeats.

"Tim has made a huge improvement, but we will assess him tomorrow (Wednesday) before making a final call on that one," said Spencer.

In the meantime, Whitehead has been bracketed with Ronnie Cooke at centre in the team released on Tuesday.

If that change is made, Siyanda Grey will come in at wing for Cooke, but if Whitehead is cleared, Cooke would remain on the wing, with Grey dropping to the bench.

Spencer made several other changes to the team which lost 30-25 to the Blue Bulls in Pretoria, two of them enforced by injury.

Skipper Luke Watson is out for four weeks with concussion and is replaced by Junior Springbok Aidon Davis at number eight.

Fly-half Gary van Aswegen has been ruled out with a groin injury, giving George Whitehead a starting chance.

"Gary has had a recurring groin strain and he will be given a short break, and we will assess him on Monday," added Spencer.

"It is important to manage him to get back to 100 percent as the injury has been affecting his kicking."

Spencer also handed a start to prop BG Uys in place of Lizo Gqoboka, while Thembelani Bholi gets a recall at flank, with Stefan Willemse dropping to the bench.

EP Kings: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Ronnie Cooke/Siyanda Grey, 13 Tim Whitehead/Ronnie Cooke, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Paul Schoeman, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Steven Sykes, 4 David Bulbring, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 BG Uys
Replacements: 16 Mike van Vuuren, 17 Charles Marais,18 Shaun McDonald, 19 Stefan Willemse, 20 Tobie Botes, 21 Siyanda Grey/Dwayne Jenner, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa.

Date: Saturday, August 30
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kickoff: 19:10 local (17:10 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: Francois Pretorius, Lusanda Jam
TMO: Jason Jaftha

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