Southern Kings looking for first PRO14 victory

The Southern Kings will be looking to secure their first ever PRO14 points as the league newcomers face Zebre Rugby Club, with both sides looking up their respective conferences at present.

The Italians will also be hoping to return home with their first win of this year’s campaign at Nelson Mandela Bay, with the action getting underway on Saturday night at 7.35pm local time.

What’s at stake? Southern Kings will be desperate to bounce back after a 30-10 defeat to Conference B leaders Leinster in their maiden Guinness PRO14 game at Nelson Mandela Bay.

Zebre meanwhile know will need to improve their defence to triumph here after conceding eight tries against the Toyota Cheetahs last weekend.

Both sides are yet to win after three defeats on the bounce in the inaugural PRO14 season, and neither will want to add to that record.

Team news (Kings):

Fly-half Kurt Coleman is expected to be out of action for four weeks after sustaining a quadricep injury last week against Leinster. Pieter-Steyn de Wet starts in his place.

Rossouw De Klerk also features on the bench having completed his compulsory concussion protocol, being deemed fit to play at the expense of Petrus Strauss.

Team news (Zebre):

Head Coach Michael Bradley has made four changes to the side that faced Cheetahs last weekend, with Roberto Tenga set to make his first start in the white and black jersey.

Zebre are without a number of players through injury including Andrea Manici, Maxime Mbandà, Matteo Pratichetti and Tommaso D’Apice.

Talking points:

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Andrea De Marchi could become Zebre’s most capped player in the game against Kings this weekend.

De Marchi is currently tied with Dries Van Schalkwyk, now a Kings player, with 94 caps but could make history should he make an appearance from the bench.

Key Battle: Dries Van Schalkwyk v Mattia Bellini

Last season Van Schalkwyk was Zebre’s top try scorer, managing five tries, but this time around he is facing off against his old team.

Zebre will be hoping that their current top try scorer, winger Mattia Bellini, will be able to add to the two tries he has already managed so far this season and fill the gap that Van Schalkwyk left.

Southern Kings: M Banda, Y Penxe, B Klaasen, L Vulindlu, S Sithole, P de Wet, R van Rooyen, S Ferreira, M Willemse, L Pupuma S Greeff, D van Schalkwyk, K Majola, V Sekekete, A Ntsila

Replacements: S Cronin, P Dooley, A Porter, R Ruddock, M Deegan, N McCarthy, C Marsh, R O’Loughlin

Zebre: M Minozzi, G Bisegni, T Boni, T Castello, M Bellini, C Canna, M Violi, R Giammarioli, G Licata, J Meyer, G Biagi, D Sisi, R Tenga, Oliviero Fabiani, A Lovotti

Replacements: S Panico, A De Marchi, D Chistolini, J Sarto, D Minnie, G Palazzani, S Bordoli, C Gaffney

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