Kings pick fifth skipper in a season

2013-03-22 00:00

CHRISTCHURCH — Loosehead prop Schalk Ferreira will become the fifth player to lead the Southern Kings in as many Super Rugby games when the Eastern Cape team go in against the powerful Crusaders in Christchurch tomorrow.

Although there have been five onfield leaders, Ferreira is the fourth selected captain.

Luke Watson led the side in the first game against the Western Force, but had to leave the field after 30 minutes and Andries Strauss took over. In the next game against the Sharks, it was lock Darron Nell who took the captaincy reigns, and while he was retained for the next match against the Chiefs, a freak injury sustained during the warm-up saw him pull out and fellow lock Steven Sykes take over.

Sykes is now one of several Kings players on the injured list and unavailable for the Crusaders match, which leaves Ferreira, man of the match for his defensive work against the Sharks and an extremely busy and mobile prop, as the new leader.

“Schalk Ferreira, who I think is an exemplary player, who always gives everything in every game, will no doubt lead by example, and Ronnie Cooke, as vice-captain, has shifted in fantastically. He is a superb player and a superb bloke,” said Kings’ director of rugby, Alan Solomons.

Solomons said the game would be a big test for the team, both in terms of leadership and depth.

“Certain players weren’t available. Steven Sykes took a knock and wasn’t available and we didn’t want to risk Andries [Strauss]. He’s much better, but he’s still a little bit bruised around the AC joint, and neither of them was considered for this particular game.”

Also missing is SP Marais, who played fullback in the first three matches, with George Whitehead coming in at No. 15. Kenyan Daniel Adongo plays lock in place of Sykes as the injuries begin to mount for the under-pressure franchise, who have exceeded expectations so far in front of their home crowd, but who face an entirely different challenge now that the overseas tour has arrived.

“For the rest, we tried to get a measure of consistency again in our selection, but while there is a level of consistency, what is also nice is that there are opportunities for players,” said Solomons, who is particularly pleased to see former Sharks and Lions Springbok Waylon Murray coming in onto the bench. — SuperSport.

Southern Kings: George Whitehead, Marcello Sampson, Ronnie Cooke, Hadleigh Parkes, Sergeal Petersen, Demetri Catrakilis, Shaun Venter, Jacques Engelbrecht, Wimpie van der Walt, Cornell du Preez, David Bulbring, Daniel Adongo, Kevin Buys, Bandise Maku, Schalk Ferreira (captain).

Substitutes: Edgar Marutlulle, Jaco Engels, Rynier Bernardo, Devin Oosthuizen, Nicolas Vergallo, Waylon Murray, Elric van Vuuren.

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