Kings coach Deon Davids at a press conference in Bloemfontein. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

PORT ELIZABETH – A 25-man Isuzu Southern Kings playing squad departed for Edinburgh on Wednesday for their first Guinness Pro14 match of 2019.

After a three-week break following their Round 10 encounter with the Italian side, Benetton Treviso, the Isuzu Southern Kings team regrouped on December 27 to begin their preparations for their Round 13 fixture against Edinburgh at Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday evening.

"We are happy to be back in action after a good end-year break which came at a good time for the team to recuperate and return rejuvenated for the New Year," coach Deon Davids said.

Following the week’s preparation for the upcoming match, Davids selected a 25-man touring squad which includes hooker Michael Willemse, scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, who is set to make his debut for the Kings, hooker Alandre van Rooyen and Berton Klaasen – all who are back from injury.

"One of the positives from the break is that we have had the opportunity to get some of our players back from injury," the coach said.

"We are really pleased to have the experienced Sarel Pretorius, who was unfortunate to sustain a foot injury ahead of the start of the season, and Mikey Willemse, whom we lost quite early on in the season to a shoulder injury. We also have Berton Klaasen back after he missed our last match in 2018 due to a leg injury, while Alandre van Rooyen has recovered from a concussion."

The Isuzu Southern Kings have also been bolstered with the inclusion of former Springbok prop, Robbi Kempson, as the side’s forwards consultant until the end of the 2018/19 Guinness PRO14 season. Kempson will also be travelling with the team as they hope to continue improving in the set pieces for the remainder of the season.

The Southern Kings touring squad is: 

Forwards: Nicolaas 'NJ' Oosthuizen, Alulutho Tshakweni, Pieter Scholtz, Luvuyo Pupuma, Tango Balekile, Alandre van Rooyen, Michael Willemse, Lubabalo 'Giant' Mtyanda, Stephan Greeff, John-Charles 'JC' Astle, Andries 'Dries' van Schalkwyk, Cyril-John 'CJ' Velleman, Martinus 'Tienie' Burger, Lerm Ruaan

Backs: Stefan Ungerer, Rudi van Rooyen, Sarel Pretorius, Martin du Toit, Ntabeni Dukisa, Tertius Kruger, Harlon Klaasen, Berton Klaasen, Yaw Penxe, Michael Makase, Masixole Banda 

African News Agency (ANA)

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