EP Kings ring the changes
Eastern Province Kings coach Matt Sexton has made several changes to his starting XV for Friday's second promotion/relegation match against the Free State Cheetahs in Port Elizabeth.
Some of the changes were implemented due to injury with both full-back SP Marais and centre Wayne Stevens on the casualty list.
However, most of the changes were due to poor performances after they lost 53-14 to the Cheetahs in the first encounter in Bloemfontein last weekend.
Michael Killian moves from left wing to replace Marais at the back while Stevens' place in midfield is taken by Paul Perez who played on the right wing last week.
Siviwe Soyizwapi and Norman Nelson replace Killian and Perez on the wings completing a new-look back three.
Other changes amongst the backs sees George Whitehead starting at flyhalf ahead of Wesley Dunlop while veteran Tiger Mangweni returns at inside centre in place of Shane Gates.
Amongst the forwards, Darron Nell also makes a welcome return in place of David Bullbring at lock. He resumes his captaincy role in the absence of Luke Watson and is keen for the team to improve on last weekend's effort.
"We were very upset with the way we played last week and it was without doubt our worst match of the season," said Nell.
Schalk Ferreira, also returns from injury, coming in for Jaco Engels at loosehead prop while Andre Schlechter is preferred on the other side of the scrum to Clint Newland.
Amongst the loose forwards, Devin Oosthuizen shifts from openside flank to number eight in place of Cornell Du Preez and Conraad Britz takes over on the side of the scrum.
Kings coach Matt Sexton echoed Nell's sentiments and wants his team to be more competitive this weekend.
"We were poor right across the board and we just didn't step up," he said.
"There are no excuses for the penalties that we gave away last week. The big thing for us is to cut out the elementary mistakes - the knock on’s and the easy turnovers.
"It's a tough mountain to climb but we've shown throughout the campaign that we're a team with character and we're capable of launching a massive fight back."
EP Kings: 15 Michael Killian, 14 Norman Nelson, 13 Paul Perez, 12 Tiger Mangweni, 11 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Falie Oelschig, 8 Devin Oosthuizen, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Conraad Britz, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Darron Nell (captain), 3 Andre Schlechter, 2 Hannes Franklin, 1 Schalk Ferreira. Replacements: 16 Frank Herne, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 David Bullbring, 19 Mpho Mbiyozo, 20 Scott Mathie, 21 Wesley Dunlop, 22 Scott van Breda.
Date: Friday, October 26
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Quintin Immelman, Cobus Wessels
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen
Assessor: Willie Roos