Kings boosted by starting with Springbok wing

Bjorn Basson (Getty)
Bjorn Basson (Getty)

Cape Town - Kings coach Deon Davids has made four changes to his side for Saturday's PRO14 clash against the Gwent Dragons in Wales. 

The major selection is a first starting berth for the experienced Springbok wing Bjorn Basson, who will run on in the No 11 jersey. 

“Our main aim with our selections this week was to ensure that we keep some continuity in the team, and also to broaden experience within the squad,” Davids said about the changes. 

“We are quite happy to see Bjorn Basson, our experienced winger, making his debut.” 

Other changes will see one of the side’s longest-serving players, Andisa Ntsila, making a return to the starting XV after he came off the bench last weekend against Zebre following an unfortunate injury that kept him out of action in the latter part of last season. 

In a rotational change, Stephan de Wit replaces Brandon Brown at flank. 

A positional switch in the backline will see Yaw Penxe, who started on the left wing last week, moving to fullback to replace Michael Botha. 

Botha, who had an impressive debut last weekend, has been ruled out of action with a groin injury. 

“Andisa Ntsila was integrated into the team last week after being out for some time with injury. We are rotating him with Ruaan Lerm at No 8,” explained Davids. 

“Unfortunately, our promising youngster and man-of-the-match from last week, Michael Botha, did not recover efficiently from a groin injury and will be replaced by Yaw Penxe, who moves to No15, with Ulrich Beyers giving additional support from the bench.” 

While the Kings defeated the Dragons 45-13 in their previous encounter at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last season, the Port Elizabeth-based side is wary of the improved Welsh side, particularly in their own backyard. 

“We expect a much improved Dragons side this weekend in front of their home crowd. I think we can expect a very physical battle up front. They have some evasive and quick outside backs, with their experienced No 10 guiding them around the field,” said Davids. 

“For us, it will be very important to quickly put last week’s performance out of our heads, and to build on the good things from last week. Obviously, we will have to ensure that we get out of our back 50 [metres] quickly and sufficiently as possible, and also when we enter the opposition 22-metre [area] to be precise and accurate in our execution in order to turn opportunities into points.”

Kings team:

15 Yaw Penxe, 14 Michael Makase, 13 Harlon Klassen, 12 Berton Klassen, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Masixole Banda, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Martinus Burger, 6 Stephan de Wit, 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 Lupumlo Mguca, 19 JC Astle, 20 Ruaan Lerm, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Martin du Toit, Ulrich Beyers

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