Kings v Western Force
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, Sunday 4.10am (AEDT, 1.10am WST)
Last meeting: Played 0 Kings 0 Force 0
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (RSA)
TV: Live, FoxSports 2
TAB Sportsbet: Kings $4.00 Force $1.22
Steve Samuelson writes: The new team from Port Elizabeth is the no-name of the competition led by controversial No.8 Luke Watson. The Force created enough chances to beat the Rebels in round one and should score their first win here.
AAP writes: The Western Force go where no men have gone before as the first team to take on Super Rugby newcomers the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth. The visitors start the bookmakers’ heavy favourites but the Kings, who replaced the Lions in the competition, have plenty to play for in their debut.
Kings skipper ... Luke Watson. Photo: Getty Images
Big-kicking five-eighth Demetri Catrakilis can knock over drop goals from almost anywhere on the park while flanker Luke Watson will lead by example. The Force impressed early on against the Rebels and will see this as a real opportunity for a bonus-point win. Skipper Matt Hodgson, Nick Cummins, Salesi Ma’afu and Hugh McMeniman are all returning from injury. Inside centre Kyle Godwin was one of his team’s best against the Rebels and is one to watch.
KINGS: SP Marais, Sergeal Petersen, Ronnie Cooke, Andries Strauss, Marcello Sampson, Demetri Catrakilis, Shaun Venter, Luke Watson (captain), Wimpie van der Walt, Cornell du Preez, Steven Sykes, David Bulbring, Kevin Buys, Bandise Maku, Schalk Ferreira Reserves: Edgar Marutlulle, Jaco Engels, Daniel Adongo, Jacques Engelbrecht, Johan Herbst, George Whitehead, Hadleigh Parkes.
FORCE: Will Tupou, Nick Cummins, Winston Stanley, Kyle Godwin, Alfie Mafi, Sam Christie, Alby Mathewson, Ben McCalman, Matt Hodgson (capt), Angus Cottrell, Hugh McMeniman, Sam Wykes, Tetera Faulkner, Nathan Charles, Pek Cowan. Reserves: Heath Tessmann, Kieran Longbottom, Toby Lynn, Richard Brown, Chris Alcock, Mick Snowden, Junior Rasolea