Luvuyo Pupuma has been rewarded for his try-scoring performance against Connacht by replacing the injured Rossouw de Klerk at tighthead. Photo: Billy Stickland/INPHO

JOHANNESBURG – The Southern Kings announced their team to play Leinster Rugby in their PRO14 match in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Southern Kings coach Deon Davids indulged in minimal tinkering to his squad when he announced the 23 players to face up to Leinster in a historic clash at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

It will be the Kings’ first home match in the competition, as well as the first time that PRO14 matches are played on South African soil.

Hooker Mike Willemse will once again have the honour of leading the team on to the field, while centre Luzuko Vulindlu will be the vice-captain.

Only one change has been made in the Kings backline from the team that did duty against Connacht last weekend, scrumhalf Rudi van Rooyen coming in for Godlen Masimla, who drops to the bench.

Among the front-row, an injury to Rossouw de Klerk has resulted in Luvuyo Pupuma being rewarded for his try-scoring performance against Connacht by being included in the starting XV, while Petrus Strauss and Martin Dreyer have been brought onto the bench.

There is also a change at lock, where Stephan Greeff takes over from Jurie van Vuuren.

Davids cut a satisfied figure as he ran the rule over his charges during a boisterous open practice session this morning.

“It’s great to be back on home soil, and we are looking forward to the game against Leinster on Saturday. We plan on giving everything we have to entertain the fans, and we’re hoping they turn out in large numbers to cheer us on,” he said.

Southern Kings Team

15 Masixole Banda, 14Yaw Penxe, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Victor Sekekete, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Dries van Schalkwyk, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Luvuyo Pupuma, 2 Mike Willemse (captain), 1 Schalk Ferreira.

Bench: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Petrus Strauss, 18 Martin Dreyer, 19 Bobby de Wee, 20 Siyabulela Mdaka, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa/Oliver Zono, 23 Jacques Nel.

African News Agency (ANA)