Kings bring in Van der Linde for Blue Bulls

Eastern Province Kings Currie Cup coach Carlos Spencer has brought in former Springbok prop CJ van der Linde to provide some stability in their Currie Cup match against the Blue Bulls in Port Elizabeth.

Seventy-five-cap Van Der Linde has replaced Tom Botha in the boiler-room and Spencer said they were sure he would add some sturdiness to the front row.

“CJ will add some stability up front and we have gone for a 5-2 split (five forwards, two backs) in our replacements,” Spencer said.

“We have included two props on the bench (BG Uys and Simon Kerrod) as CJ will probably not go the full 80 minutes.”

The Kings have been regularly penalised for scrum infringements this season and it is a problem Spencer will be aiming to rectify against the Bulls.

After a lengthy injury layoff, Van der Linde made his first appearance for the Kings off the bench against Western Province in Cape Town last weekend.

Spencer made several other changes to the team who were outplayed 49-14 by the Capetonians.

Devin Oosthuizen, also back from injury, returns on the flank, with Paul Schoeman moving to eighthman in place of Aidon Davis.

Gary van Aswegen has recovered from a groin injury and slots in at flyhalf, with George Whitehead dropping out, while Shane Gates is back at inside centre in place of Dwayne Jenner.

“We have included Devin in the hope that he can up the work-rate in the loose forward department, and he also deserves an opportunity after an injury,” Spencer said.

“We have also included Darron Nell on the bench to add some experience and physicality during the game. Shane Gates has had a bit of a rest with a week off, so we have put him back at inside centre.”

The Kings have been hit by a number of players suffering from chest infections, including captain Steven Sykes. The big lock, however, said he would be ready for Friday’s encounter.

Both Siyanda Grey and Thembelani Bholi are sick with chest infections, but Shaun McDonald, who sustained a cut above the eye on Friday against Province, has been declared fit for the Bulls encounter.

EP Kings

Lizo Gqoboka, Edgar Marutlulle, CJ van der Linde, David Bulbring, Steven Sykes (captain), Shaun McDonald, Devin Oosthuizen, Paul Schoeman, Kevin Luiters, Gary van Aswegen, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Shane Gates, Tim Whitehead, Ronnie Cooke, Scott van Breda.

Replacements: Mike van Vuuren, Simon Kerrod, BG Uys, Darron Nell, Stefan Willemse, Tobie Botes, Ntabeni Dukisa.

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