Kings team announced to take on Crusaders

MARCH 17, 2016

The Southern Kings have made two changes to their starting line up for the game against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday. 

Head coach Deon Davids has replaced Edgar Marutlulle at hooker with Martin Ferreira, while Kevin Luiters comes up from the bench to start in place of Ntando Kebe.

"Edgar put in a sterling  performance against the Chiefs last week and the move is in no way an enditement on his performance," he said.

Davids said Luiters had been given the chance to start, having played off the bench last week after returning from injury.

"Ntando has started for us in two games now, so its more of a rotational move, with Kevin also bringing a bit of experience to the field," he said.

Aside from Marutlulle and Kebe, JP du Plessis also comes onto the bench in place of JAco van Tonder, who did not join the team on tour.

Davids said he was expecting a tough match on Saturday.

"The Crusaders are a well balanced team and we are expecting this match to be an exceptional challenge for us as a team," he said.

Davids said the team was focused on improving on their performance game by game.

"We have only had one pracice session so far this week, due to the long trip, so we have tried to cover some of the issues we identified from the last game.

"We have also spoken a lot about concentration, specifically in the ten minutes before and after half time," he said.

Captain Steven Sykes said the players were settling in well after their long journey to New Zealand and had had a productive training session on Thursday.

"This was our first training session since we arrived and was very productive, with a lot of positives that we can hopefully take into the match with us," he said.

Sykes said the team was expecting a tough game against the Crusaders.

"I told the team that this is probably going to be the toughest game of the competition. The Crusaders are a great team, In all my years playing, I have never played against a weak Crusaders team," he said.

Sykes said the forwards were confident in their set piece, having held their own in the first two games of the season.

"I think the guys are ready for the match, we just need to focus on cutting out some of the soft moments in the game and making less errors," he said.

The team is

15. Jurgen Visser
14. Luzuko Vulindlu
13. Stefan Watermeyer
12. Shane Gates (vc)
11. Malcolm Jaer
10. Louis Fouche
09. Kevin Luiters
08. Jacques Engelbrecht
07. Thembelani Bholi
06. Chris Cloete
05. JC Astle
04. Steven Sykes (c)
03. Jacobie Adriaanse
02. Martin Ferreira
01. Schalk Ferreira

Reserves
16. Edgar Marutlulle
17. Sti Sithole
18. Tom Botha
19. Schalk Oelofse
20. CJ Velleman
21. Ntando Kebe
22. Elgar Watts
23. JP Du Plessis

The game will be aired on Supersport 1 at 8.35am South African Time.