Sykes on bench as Nell leads Kings in promotion/relegation game
Darron Nell has been selected as the Southern Kings’ captain for their Vodacom Super Rugby promotion/relegation clash on Friday night at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth. The game against the MTN Lions kicks off at 19:10 SA time.
Nell takes over from Andries Strauss who is out due to a broken hand. The Kings made several changes to their backline from the one that started against the Sharks in their last Super Rugby match. SP Marais comes back at fullback. Shane Gates starts the game at centre in place of the injured Strauss. He is paired with Ronnie Cooke, the vice-captain.
Demetri Catrakilis will start at flyhalf and direct the Kings backline. Hadleigh Parks move in on the rightwing with Marcelo Sampson on the left.
They do have the security of having a forwards pack that is used to playing together. Only Steven Sykes that is relegated to the bench is a surprise.
This is a must win game as it will hand the Kings a demanding position going into the second game. Both teams will want to win and stop the other side from getting any bonus points.
Southern Kings team: SP Marais, Marcello Sampson, Ronnie Cooke (vc), Shane Gates, Hadleigh Parkes, Demetri Catrakilis, Shaun Venter, Jacques Engelbrecht, Wimpie van der Walt, Cornell du Preez, David Bulbring, Darron Nell (c), Kevin Buys, Bandise Maku, Schalk Ferreira. Replacements: Charl du Plessis, Hannes Franklin, Steven Sykes, Devin Oosthuizen, Nicolas Vergallo, George Whitehead, Waylon Murray.
follow Dave on @djvanman on twitter