Kings make two changes for Crusaders

Kings head coach Deon Davids has made two changes in his side to face the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.

Martin Ferreira replaces Edgar Marutlulle at hooker and scrum-half Ntando Kebe moves to the bench with Kevin Luiters set to make his first start of the season. 

Davids said Marutlulle's demotion to the bench is purely a tactical move. The hooker scored the side's only tries in their 24-58 loss to the Chiefs last week.

"Edgar put in a sterling performance against the Chiefs last week and the move is in no way an indictment on his performance," Davids told Sport24.

The head coach also explained his reasoning for opting for the more experienced Luiters instead of Kebe.

"Ntando has started for us in two games now, so it’s more of a rotational move, with Kevin also bringing a bit of experience to the field," said Davids.

Amongst the replacements, JP du Plessis comes in for Jaco van Tonder, who isn't touring with the Kings.

Davids conceded that the Crusaders clash won't be an easy one and hopes it will be used to improve his side's performances.

"The Crusaders are a well balanced team and we are expecting this match to be an exceptional challenge for us as a team," he added.

"We have only had one practice session so far this week, due to the long trip, so we have tried to cover some of the issues we identified from the last game.

"We have also spoken a lot about concentration, specifically in the ten minutes before and after half time." 

Kings: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Luzuko Vulindlu, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Louis Fouche, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 JC Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (c), 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Schalk Oelofse, 20 CJ Velleman, 21 Ntando Kebe, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 JP Du Plessis

Date: Friday, March 18
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19:35 local (06:35 GMT)
Referee: William Houston
Assistant Referees: Brendon Pickerill, Angus Mabey
TMO: Chris Wratt