Darron Nell will captain the Eastern Province Kings in the second leg of their promotion/relegation battle with the Cheetahs on Friday.
Free State all but secured their spot in the Currie Cup Premier Division when they whipped the Kings 53-14 in Bloemfontein last week. The Kings will need to smash the Cheetahs by a massive margin in Port Elizabeth if they are going to move up to the top tier.
They welcome back Nell this week, who will also assume the captaincy due to Wayne Stevens’s injury. Schalk Ferreira has also recovered from his ailment and will start at loosehead in place of Jaco Engels. Flank Conraad Britz is brought into the starting back row.
Meanwhile, coach Matt Sexton has made several changes to the backline that started in Bloemfontein.
George Whitehead is brought in at No 10, Tiger Mangweni is favoured at inside centre and Paul Perez joins Mangweni in midfield. Michael Killian replaces the injured SP Marais at fullback while Siviwe Soyizwapi and Norman Nelson will start on the wings.
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 (c), 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.