The Isuzu Southern Kings will face Irish side, Ulster, at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday having made four personnel changes and one positional switch to their starting line-up in the first Guinness PRO14 home match of the 2018/19 season. Kick-off is at 14h15.
Fullback, Michael Botha, who was ruled out of last weekend’s match against Dragons due to a groin injury, will be back in the No15 jersey after making a full recovery.
The versatile Yaw Penxe shifts from the fullback to right wing for the match, replacing Michael Makase, who is out of the match-day squad for this week. The other change in the backline will see Godlen Masimla starting ahead of Rudi van Rooyen, who moves to the bench, at scrumhalf.
Two changes in the Isuzu Southern Kings forwards pack will see the side’s most capped player, Schalk Ferreira, making his first start of the new season at loosehead prop, while John-Charles Astle will start at No5 alongside lock partner Schalk Oelofse.
The Port Elizabeth-based Isuzu Southern Kings are keen to get their home leg of the competition off to a good start after opening the campaign with two matches on the road against Zebre (Italy) and Dragons (Wales)
“This is our first home game for the new season. We are really looking forward to playing in front of our home crowd,” Head Coach Deon Davids said ahead of the clash.
“The guys showed some enthusiasm on the road, but were rusty in the first game; and last week we had a very slow start. So now we just have to keep building on the positive stuff.”
Centre, Berton Klaasen, also expressed his enthusiasm at playing the first match of the season at home.
We are excited to play at home. We always get a lift from playing in PE. When we travel overseas the stadiums are often much smaller than ours here back home, and that can, at times, be intimidating,” he said.
The visiting Ulster side will arrive at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on the back of two victories in their opening matches. On their last visit to the Bay, the Irish side emerged as a 36-43 winners following close encounter.
The home side is expecting nothing less than another heated exchange between the two sides.
“Our previous encounter against Ulster was a close and tough one. I’m certain that they will come out guns blazing, and we are aware that they are a real quality team. We are going to have to step it up this weekend,” said Klaasen.
The Isuzu Southern Kings and Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will provide great entertainment at the “Sunday Fun Day” with amazing events and give-aways throughout the day.
The day’s entertainment will include:
A supervised kids zone
Kick for Cash competition
Players signing session
Gates at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium open at 12pm on Sunday.
Ticket are available at the NMB Stadium Ticketpro office and all Ticketpro outlets.
R150 for the Royal Lounge
R50 for the East Stand
R20 for kids and students (available only at the NMB Stadium Ticket Office)
Isuzu Southern Kings
15 Michael Botha
14 Yaw Penxe
13 Harlon Klassen
12 Berton Klassen
11 Bjorn Basson
10 Masixole Banda
9 Godlen Masimla
1 Schalk Ferreira
2 Michael Willemse (C)
3 Luvuyo Pupuma
4 Schalk Oelofse
5 John-Charles Astle
6 Stephan De Wit
7 Martinus Burger
8 Andisa Ntsila
16 Alandre Van Rooyen
17 Xandre Vos
18 Justin Forwood
19 Bobby De Wee
20 Ruaan Lerm
21 Rudi van Rooyen
22 Martin Du Toit
23 Ntabeni Dukisa