Port Elizabeth - Southern Kings coach Deon Davids has named his team for Friday night’s PRO14 match against Italian side Zebra in Parma.
There are six debutants in the Kings' match-day squad.
In the run-on XV, fullback Michael Botha, lock Schalk Oelofse and flank Henry Brown will start their first game in Kings colours, while lock JC Astle, centre Ulrich Beyers and prop Lupumlo Mguca are new faces amongst the replacements.
The team, which will be captained by hooker Michael Willemse, also shows the interesting selection of Masixole Banda at flyhalf. The mercurial playmaker regularly caught the eye while playing at fullback or on the wing last season and will partner Rudi van Rooyen at halfback.
“We’ve had some really good sessions despite the very warm and humid conditions being experienced in this part of the world at the moment. We are preparing for a very physical and high-tempo challenge from Zebre. They have lots of experience and play in front of a very passionate crowd but if we focus on ourselves then I believe we have what it takes to win,” Davids said.
Davids also congratulated all the players who would be making their debuts for the Southern Kings in this match and said he hoped they would “embrace” the occasion.
“Every single one of them has earned their place in the team and they help us in broadening our base of experience within the squad.”
Friday’s match at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi is scheduled for 20:35 (SA time).
Southern Kings team:
15 Michael Botha, 14 Michael Makase, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 Berton Klaasen, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Masixole Banda, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Tienie Burger, 6 Henry Brown, 5 Bobby de Wee, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Luvuyo Pupuma, 2 Michael Willemse (captain), 1 Justin Forwood
Substitutes: 16 Alandre van Rooyen, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Luphumlo Mguca, 19 JC Astle, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Martin du Toit, 23 Ulrich Beyers