THE Eastern Province Kings could fall back on some of their big guns ahead of their Currie Cup First Division match against South Western Districts at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday.
Kings coach Alan Solomons was forced into making changes to the team that beat Boland in an away match last week and fortunately had some solid depth to choose from.
Loose forward Wimpie van Rooyen and vice-captain Tiger Mangweni make a welcome return to the starting lineup after they came off the bench as substitutes in the game against Boland. Cornel du Preez moves to the list of substitutes for the match.
Wing Michael Killian, who was the leading try-scorer in the Lions’ successful Currie Cup campaign last year, and Lonwabo Ntleki were the only two major changes to the squad that played last week.
Killian was born in Uitenhage and grew up in Port Elizabeth, where he made a name for himself as a standout player in the NMMU side. He was promoted to the then-EP Mighty Elephants where his professional career started taking shape before he was contracted to the Lions in 2008.
Solomons said Killian would replace Jongi Nokwe who was not available because of a knee injury sustained against Boland.
He said Wayne Stevens was not considered for selection because he took a lot of knocks and bruises in the previous game.
"We still have a number of injured players but things are starting to look better because it will probably only take a couple of weeks for the guys to return to training.
"SWD played very well in their previous match and they are totally a different side from Boland because they play direct football.”
Solomons said SWD had attracted some good stock from Western Province which would strengthen their side and EP were expecting a tough game.
Kings captain Darron Nell said the game would be more physical than last week, but his team would meet fire with fire.
SP Marais, Michael Killian, Scott van Breda, Tiger Mangweni (vice-captain), Marcello Sampson, George Whitehead, Falie Oelschig, Jacques Engelbrecht, Wimpie van der Walt, Devin Oosthuizen, David Bulbring, Darron Nell (captain), Clint Newland, Hannes Franklin and Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: Frank Herne, Andre Schlechter, Wayne van Heerden, Cornel du Preez, Reynier van Rooyen, Wesley Dunlop and Lonwabo Ntleki.