Kings name team for Cardiff Blues clash

Deon Davids (Gallo Images)
Deon Davids (Gallo Images)

Cardiff - Southern Kings loose-forward Andisa Ntsila will start in the No 8 jersey for the side when they take on Welsh side, Cardiff Blues, in the last of three tour matches on Saturday night.

The PRO14 Round 17 match will be played at Cardiff Arms Park, kicking off at 21:35 SA time.

Following the concussion suffered by Ruaan Lerm, who had started the previous two matches, the 25-year-old Ntsila will earn his eighth starting berth of the 2018/19 season.

Team doctor Gershwin Kortje confirmed Lerm’s unavailability for the match while confirming that lock Stephan Greeff - who had also left the field against Leinster with a concussion - was fit for his selection on the bench.

“Ruaan Lerm did not complete the Gradual Return to Play (GRTP) protocol and was deemed unfit -  due to the concussion - for selection for this weekend’s game. Stephan Greeff passed his concussion tests and successfully completed his GRTP protocol,” Kortje confirmed.

Ntsila will partner with the hard-tackling duo of Henry “Bakkies” Brown and Martinus “Tienie” Burger in the backrow.

Captain JC Astle, who was originally selected on the bench last week but came on early following Greeff’s concussion, will also return to lead the side alongside Dries van Schalkwyk in the second row.

Centre Tertius Kruger also makes a return to the starting XV, in the only backline change that sees Berton Klaasen starting on the bench this week. Kruger will form a familiar midfield pairing with Meli Rokoua.

“We unfortunately lost Ruaan Lerm this week as a result of a concussion, but we are fortunate to have a player of Andisa Ntsila’s calibre to call on as a replacement,” head coach Deon Davids said.

“We have also brought in Tertius Kruger this week in a rotational change with Berton Klaasen. Both players have made good contributions this season in their roles, whether starting or coming off the bench. We expect the same intensity, and more, from both of them this week as well.”

The Southern Kings have not yet claimed an away win this season and would like nothing more than to end off the three-week tour of Ireland and Wales than with a victory over their Welsh opponents.

With the Cardiff Blues having their tails up after a confidence-boosting 19-17 win over Edinburgh away from home last week, the Southern Kings are aware of the tough battle that awaits them this week.

“We have had a tough two matches so far on the tour, and this week against a Cardiff Blues side that is on the back of a good win over Edinburgh will be an equally tough contest,” said Davids.

“They are a quality side that is well-coached. It is no fluke that they sit third on the Conference A log. We have worked very hard this week to counter whatever they may have up their sleeve this weekend. We are hoping to end this tour on a positive note.”


Cardiff Blues

15 Aled Summerhill, 14 Owen Lane, 13 Harri Millard, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Jason Harries, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Nick Williams (captain), 7 Olly Robinson, 6 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 5 Macauley Cook, 4 George Earle, 3 Scott Andrews, 2  Liam Belcher, 1 Brad Thyer

Substitutes: 16 Ethan Lewis, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Keiron Assiratti, 19 Rory Thornton, 20 Seb Davies, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Garyn Smith, 23 Matthew Morgan

Southern Kings

15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Meli Rokoua, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Bader Pretorius, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tienie Burger, 6 Henry Brown, 5 JC Astle, 4 Andries van Schalkwyk, 3 De-Jay Terblanche, 2 Michael Willemse (captain), 1 Alulutho Tshakweni

Substitutes: 16 Alandre Van Rooyen, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Lumpumlo Mguca, 19 Stephan Greeff, 20 Stephan de Wit, 21 Rudi van Rooyen, 22 Berton Klaasen, 23 Masixole Banda

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