The Southern Kings, with only two wins under the belt in 17 matches, are not lying down. They will continue to strive to improve and to get positive results, said coach Deon Davids after the team was announced.
The 25-man squad travel to Belfast to play Ulster in a PRO14 Round 18 clash on Saturday. It will be the side’s final trip overseas for the 2018/19 PRO14 season.
After a two-week break since their last match – a close 19-26 defeat to Cardiff Blues in Wales earlier this month – the side will be eager to get back to action and will look to earn their first overseas win of the season.
“We have opted for consistency with the aim of building momentum from what was a close match against Cardiff Blues two weeks ago, Kings head coach, Deon Davids, said ahead of the side’s departure on Wednesday night.
“A guy like CJ Velleman, who missed out on the last tour because of a suspension, could have easily come back into the side, but we have somebody like Bakkies Brown who performed very well for us on tour, and so did Stephan de Wit, but we could only pick one of them. Bakkies did well for us, and for consistency’s sake, it was the obvious decision to make to include him in the squad.”
Experienced scrumhalf, Sarel Pretorius, was omitted from the touring squad after he sustained a knee injury at training last Friday. The 34-year-old Pretorius will be undergoing scans this week to determine the extent of his injury. His place in the touring group has been taken by Ruan van Rensburg.
In a pre-planned rotational change, centre Berton Klaasen will get some rest this week as Harlon Klaasen travels with the team to Belfast as he joins Meli Rokoua and Tertius Kruger as the traveling midfielders.
The Southern Kings are expecting a thrilling encounter with one of the top Irish sides in PRO14 Rugby. The northern Irish side has managed to win 10 of their 17 matches so far this season, with only five defeats.
Kings squad ‒
Alulutho Tshakweni, Schalk Ferreira, De-Jay Terblanche, Lupumlo Mguca, Pieter Scholtz; Michael Willemse, Alandré van Rooyen; JC Astle (captain), Andries van Schalkwyk, Stephan Greeff; Bakkies Brown, Martinus Burger, Andisa Ntsila, Ruaan Lerm.
Stefan Ungerer, Ruan van Rensburg, Rudi van Rooyen; Bader Pretorius, Masixole Banda; Tertius Kruger, Meli Rokoua, Harlon Klaasen; Yaw Penxe, Bjorn Basson; Ulrich Beyers.