Kings name team for Force


The Kings have named their team for their debut match in Super Rugby this weekend against the Force.

“As you can see the starting line-up is the same to the warm up game against the Griquas,” said director of rugby, Alan Solomons.

“There are no major injuries, aside from Michael Killian with his broken arm and Hannes (Franklin) with his knee. Nicolás Vergallo played 30 minutes but he’s still not 100% and we have decided not to field him,” said Solomons.

Also absent from the line-up is Virgile Lacombe, who is still recovering from a rib injury.

Solomons said he was confident in the team going into their first match, despite the unfortunate loss against Griquas last week. The warm up game had given a number of players the opportunity to get some quality game time in ahead of the super rugby season.

“The execution in the Griquas game was not where it was meant to be, but the game was all about preparation and we got a lot of good out of it,” he said.

Head coach Matt Sexton said he was happy with the team taking to the field, and that the squad was looking good. He said the team had done as much as they could in preparation for their debut.

“Whatever we could do, we’ve done as far as preparation goes,” he said.

Captain of the team, Luke Watson, said it was great to be starting the season off with a home game, allowing the Southern Kings to run out in the official kit for their debut match in front of a home crowd.

The Southern Kings team includes several players who have not played Super Rugby before.

“We have experienced players like Bandise Maku and Andries Strauss who have played a lot of Super Rugby, but on the flip side there are some who have not. We all have to start somewhere and we have no doubt in the ability and commitment of those guys who will be pulling on a Super Rugby jersey for the first time.”

Watson said the team was also fine with the label of underdogs, and that the mood among the players was good.

“The Kings do not mind the label of underdog. We want to quietly go about our business and make sure we represent ourselves properly and that we are competitive and play to the best of our ability,” Watson said.

Watson said the team had been putting in a lot of hard work in the build up to the season, that training had now gone from quantity to quality, and that there was a lot of excitement in the camp.

Asked about the negativity around the Southern Kings entry into Super Rugby, Watson said the players were not allowing themselves to be distracted.

“The preparations for the game have been so intense and our players are so focused on what needs to be done that we have not focused on any publicity the team has gotten,” he said.

Watson said the match, expected to attract more than 30 000 fans, was important for the team and the region and encouraged the general public to come out and support the players.

“Playing Super Rugby is not a victory for the Southern Kings. It is a victory for the Eastern Cape,” he said.

Kings team for Force

15.          SP Marais

11.          Marcello Sampson

13.          Ronnie Cooke

12.          Andries Strauss (Vice Captain)

14.          Sergeal Petersen

10.          Demetri Catrakilis

9.             Shaun Venter

1.             Schalk Ferreira

2.             Bandise Maku

3.             Kevin Buys

6.             Cornell du Preez

4.             David Bulbring

5.             Steven Sykes

7.             Wimpie van der Walt

8.             Luke Watson (Captain)


16.          Edgar Marutlulle

17.          Jaco Engels

18.          Daniel Adongo

19.          Jacques Engelbrecht

20.          Johan Herbst

21.          George Whitehead

22.          Hadleigh Parkes

Facebook Comments


  1. Big ask for these guys… Force aren’t the best travellers… but they looked good agianst the Rebels…

    Going to be interesting to see how the forwards match up… and how the 18 yr old Petersen contains the blisterning Alfie Mafi?

  2. Force chase out ‘Kings spy’
    It is suspected that someone partial to Super Rugby debutants the Kings may have cheekily tried to film a Force practice.
    — News24.
    Well, what can you expect with the biggest
    Cheek of them all there?

  3. Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 3:10 pm: Pace shouldn’t be a problem fot Peterson,he is probably faster than Mafi. Peterson was the South African u/17 100m champion and has represented South Africa at various international junior races. His personal best as a 16 year old was 10.35, I am not sure if he has inproved on that for the meen time.

    I don’t know how good his defence is though, I am exited to see him play.

  4. Good to see the starting 15 are all South Africans.

    This is not a great Superrugby team but guys like Maku, Sykes, Watson, Strauss, Cooke, Catrakilis and SP Marais are all good enough to play Superrugby. Sergeal Petersen, last years Cravenweek player of the tournament, will get there sooner than later although Bryce will probably call him an ork. I hope they can surprise on Saturday.

  5. These guys being South African they will get my support against the Force. The only Ausie team I support is the Brumbies due to their Jake connection.

  6. Reply to Craven @ 9:01 am:

    It’s weird that… I’m a Rebels supporter being in Melbourne (and the wife’s company sponsoring them)… but the JW connection and the fact he has achieved so much already with so little (last year the youngest and most inexperienced side in the comp) has me right behind him…

  7. Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 1:04 pm:

    Jip, have to agree.

    I have always been a Jake fan though, yes he made mistakes, but I am of the opinion that he is a coach that learnt from his mistakes. Coaches never stop learning and evolving, look at Graham Henry’s age for confirmation. They cocked up in 2007 and changed their approach for 2011.

    The really good coaches keep developing and learning, and I think Jake is a good example of this.