The Vodacom Bulls face the resurgent Southern Kings on Saturday (8 July) in Pretoria and an exciting local Vodacom Super Rugby derby is expected in this match at Loftus Versfeld, which starts at 5.15pm.
The Southern Kings have opted for consistency in their penultimate Vodacom Super Rugby match of the 2017 season.
Southern Kings coach, Deon Davids, on Thursday announced his team for the Saturday’s encounter and has made only one injury enforced change to the team that beat the Jaguares in Buenos Aires last weekend. The match in Pretoria will kick-off at 5.15pm.
Lock Wilhelm van der Sluys, who has been a consistent performer for the Southern Kings since joining the side earlier in the season on a loan agreement from English Premiership side, Worcester Warriors, has been sidelined after sustaining a concussion in last weekend’s match in Argentina.
The lanky Van der Sluys will be replaced in the starting XV by Lubabalo Mtyanda, who slotted in with aplomb as a replacement at the Estadio Jose Amalfitani last weekend.
“Wilhelm van der Sluys is a very special player, on and off the field, and a core member of the team. His injury is a big loss for the team,” Davids said about the injury that has forced the change to the team.
“But I also must say that a player like Giant Mtyanda, who will replace Wilhelm, really put up his hand and gave a good performance. We really hope he can continue with that into our next game.
Mtyanda’s spot on the bench will be filled by the equally capable Mzwanele Zito, who has held his own in previous appearances for the Southern Kings earlier this season and also in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge.
The head coach indicated that his side was expecting a tough encounter against a determined Vodacom Bulls outfit.
“The Bulls showed what they are capable of in last week’s match against the Sharks,” Davids said.
This Round 16 match will be followed by the DHL Stormers’ home clash in Cape Town against the Sunwolves that starts at 7.30pm. The Cape side has already qualified for the playoffs as winners of the African Conference 1.
The Southern Kings team to take on the Vodacom Bulls is:
15 Malcolm Jaer
14 Wandile Mjekevu
13 Berton Klaasen
12 Luzuko Vulindlu
11 Makazole Mapimpi
10 Lionel Cronje (capt)
9 Louis Schreuder
8 Andisa Ntsila
7 Tyler Paul
6 Chris Cloete
5 Lubabalo Mtyanda
4 Irne Herbst
3 Ross Geldenhuys (v/c)
2 Michael Willemse
1 Mzamo Majola
REPLACEMENTS: 16. Martin Bezuidenhout, 17. Schalk Ferreira, 18. Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19. Mzwanele Zito, 20. Thembelani Bholi, 21. Stefan Ungerer, 22. Masixole Banda, 23. Yaw Penxe.