The Isuzu Southern Kings have announced a 25-man that will travel to Belfast to take on Ulster in a Guinness PRO14 Round 18 clash on Saturday, March 23.
The team leaves for Ireland from Port Elizabeth on Wednesday evening, which will be the side’s final trip overseas for the 2018/19 Guinness 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, Isuzu Southern Kings Head Coach, Deon Davids, said ahead of the side’s departure from Port Elizabeth.
“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 Henry “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 Isuzu Southern Kings are expecting a thrilling encounter with one of the top Irish sides in Guinness PRO14 Rugby. The northern Irish side has managed to win 10 of their 17 matches so far this season, with only five defeats.
“Our focus now is on the remaining four matches, especially the next match against Ulster,” Davids said.
“We are working hard to ensure that we continue to improve and that we get some positive results.”
The Isuzu Southern Kings touring group for the match against Ulster is:
Alulutho Tshakweni, Schalk Ferreira, De-Jay Terblanche, Lupumlo Mguca, Pieter Scholtz; Michael Willemse, Alandre van Rooyen; JC Astle (c), Andries van Schalkwyk, Stephan Greeff; Henry 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.