Southern Kings head coach Deon Davids has announced his 25 man touring squad for the Southern Kings trip to Argentina this weekend.
The squad includes Edgar Marutlulle and Sti Sithole, both of whom missed out on the match against the Emirates Lions last week due to injury. Stefan Willemse, who has played at both lock and flank, is also part of the touring squad, along with eighth man, Aidon Davis.
Davids also announced that back line players Elgar Watts and Jaco van Tonder would be part of the touring squad.
“At fullback we have Jaco van Tonder, we know he can play at 15 and hasn’t had a chance to start there yet this year, and Leighton Eksteen, who can come in as a backup,” he said.
“We felt that, at this point of time, we want to give Jaco a chance and see how he is doing,” he said.
Davids said Jurgen Visser had been training really well and would most likely return to the structures going forward.
“He is kicking well and brings a lot of experience to the team, so we will be looking at him going forward,” he said.
Davids said the loss of Malcolm Jaer and how it affected the squad selection showed what impact he had had on the team.
“We gave him an opportunity at fullback this past week, and he did some good things, but going forward, at this point of time, he has proven himself at wing,” Davids said.
“He has been good under the high ball and good with ball in hand, but he is now not available for six weeks so we have to look at other options,” he said.
Davids said the team had discussed the poor performance against the Emirates Lions.
“There’s an understanding that some of the things that happened are unacceptable. This is a high performance environment. It’s not all about the score, its about what you do on the field, how you hold yourself accountable for your role and responsibilities,” he said.
Davids said the team was expecting a tough competition on Saturday.
“They have a good forward pack and will definitely come at us with driving mauls. They’re an internationally experienced side, they love ball in hand, they love using the width of the field and love a quick game.”
“We will just have to be very alert and very aware of what is happening in front of us and will have to work very hard within our structures and systems,” he said.
Davids said the team would be announced on Friday, after arrival in Argentina.
The 25 man touring squad are:
1 Schalk Ferreira
2 Jacobus Adriaanse
3 Sithembiso (Sti) Sithole
4 Tom Botha
5 Justin Ackerman
6 Edgar Marutlulle
7 Martin Bezuidenhout
8 Martin Ferreira
9 Steven Sykes
10 John – Charles (JC) Astle
11 Elgar Watts
12 Chris Cloete
13 Cyril-John (CJ) Velleman
14 Thembelani Bholi
15 Louis Fouche
16 Ntando Kebe
17 Leighton Eksteen
18 Stefan Willemse
19 Shane Gates
20 Stefan Watermeyer
21 Aidon Davis
22 Luzuko Vulindlu
23 Jaco van Tonder
24 James Hall
25 Lukhanyo Am
The game will be aired on Supersport 1 on Saturday 30 April at 23:40 South African Time.