Port Elizabeth - Southern Kings coach Deon Davids has made three changes to his starting XV that will be taking on Benetton in Round 6 of the PRO14 at Stadio Monigo in Treviso on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 20:00 (SA time).
While the backline remains unchanged from the one that faced Scarlets in Llanelli last week, the forwards pack will see two injury-enforced changes and one rotational switch.
Loosehead prop Justin Forwood will get a start in the No 1 jersey following the departure of Schalk Ferreira from the tour after experienced 34-year-old sustained a fractured nose in last weekend’s clash. Ferreira returned home to Port Elizabeth earlier in the week, together with scrumhalf Rudi van Rooyen and flanker Henry “Bakkies” Brown, who had both sustained ankle injuries.
Brown’s injury opened up an opportunity for a first starting berth in over two years for CJ Velleman, who had been on the bench for the Kings’ previous two matches. Velleman made his PRO14 debut in the Kings’ 38-28 victory over Glasgow Warriors a fortnight ago after having nursed two serious knee injuries for the past two years.
In a rotational change in the second row, Schalk Oelofse also returns to the starting XV where he will replace Bobby de Wee and partner up with JC Astle at lock. De Wee moves to the bench.
“We may have been affected by injuries, but we also now have an opportunity to give some of our other players an opportunity to gain starting berths,” Davids said about the changes.
“This is a long season and it is important to have depth in our squad. I’m happy to see some of our guys getting opportunities to play, be it starting or coming off the bench. Gaining the experience in such a competitive Championship is important.”
New faces on the bench this weekend will be Lupumlo Mguca, who will provide cover at prop, as well as backup loose-forward Marthinus “Tienie” Burger and Ruan van Rensburg as the scrumhalf replacement.
The rest of the bench remains unchanged from last week.
15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Ratuva Tavuyara, 13 Ignacio Brex, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Robert Barbieri (captain), 7 Abraham Steyn, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Nicola Quaglio
Substitutes: 16 Alberto De Marchi, 17 Derrick Appiah, 18 Simone Ferrari, 19 Irné Herbst, 20 Michele Lamaro, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Ian McKinley, 23 Alberto Sgarbi
15 Masixole Banda, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Harlon Klassen, 12 Berton Klassen, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Martin du Toit, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Andisa Ntsila, 6 CJ Velleman, 5 JC Astle, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Luvuyo Pupuma, 2 Michael Willemse (captain), 1 Justin Forwood
Substitutes: 16 Alandre van Rooyen, 17 Lupumlo Mguca, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Bobby de Wee, 20 Marthinus Burger, 21 Ruan van Rensburg, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa, 23 Tristan Blewett