DETERMINED EP Kings skipper Shane Gates has warned his teammates that they can expect a physical battle when they clash with defending champions Griquas in their opening Vodacom Cup match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
Gates was speaking when the Kings announced a team that showed only two changes to the starting lineup which beat a Golden Lions XV 13-8 in a friendly last week.
Flyhalf Gary van Aswegen comes in for Tony Jantjies, who is struggling with a hamstring injury, and Siyanda Grey takes the place of Luther Obi, who took a blow to the ribs against the Lions.
“It is going to be a very physical game. I spent a month over there in Bloemfontein and I got to know some of the guys. They love playing against EP and is something they are going to relish,” Gates said.
“I enjoyed the challenge of leading the team for the first time last week and I am grateful for the Kings for believing in me again.
“It is a challenge and something that I enjoy.
“It was nice to start with a win and it was a hard 80 minutes and something that the team needed to gel. They had to work hard and it was not an easy victory.
“It is something that will put us in good stead for the Griquas game.
“The win over the Lions has put a lot of team spirit into the boys and made training and the vibe a lot easier.
“Starting off with a win over Griquas is vital so we can get the ball rolling and get the campaign off to a good start,” Gates said.
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