Luke Watson’s much-anticipated return to Newlands is off. The Southern Kings captain has been ruled out of his team’s encounter with the Stormers.
Watson, who captained the Stormers during his stint in Cape Town, has been ruled out of Saturday’s Newlands encounter due to Flu.
The Kings management delayed the announcement of their team for the game until Thursday, which allowed star flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis time to recover from a leg injury.
Watson, however, will sit this one out.
“Luke has flu and is not great,” said Kings Director of Rugby Alan Solomons.
“He hasn’t been able to practice and on medical advice he will not be playing.”
In the absence of Watson Jacques Engelbrecht starts at No.8, Wimpie van der Walt moves to No.7 and Cornell du Preez starts at No.6 – with Devin Oosthuizen coming onto the replacement bench.
Andries Strauss will now captain the team.
Siviwe Soyizwapi will start on the right wing in the place of the injured Siyanda Grey (hamstring).
Darron Nell will start at lock in place of Steven Sykes, who is out as a result of the shoulder injury he sustained in last week’s loss to the Cheetahs.
Nicolas Vergallo starts at No.9, with Shaun Venter on the bench.
Hannes Franklin comes onto the bench in place of Virgile Lacombe, who has a slight rib injury and is being rested.
Southern Kings: 15 SP Marais, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss (Captain), 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nicolas Vergallo, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Darron Nell, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Hannes Franklin, 17 Grant Kemp, 18 Rynier Bernado, 19 Devin Oosthuizen, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Shane Gates, 22 George Whitehead.
Date: Saturday 1 June
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa), Linston Manuels (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)