Southern Kings wing makes debut – at age of 34
Flying Southern Kings wing Alshaun Bock will become one of the oldest debutants in Super Rugby history when he runs out against the Sharks in Durban tomorrow just weeks ahead of his 35th birthday.
It was a dream come true for Bock yesterday when he got his big break and was named in a revamped Kings starting lineup for their fourth outing of the season.
“It was always my dream to play Super Rugby, but I never thought it would come true this year,” he said.
“I am turning 35 in May, but I am feeling as young as 10 years ago. The speed is still there and it is just a honour to pull on a Kings jersey.
“Ahead of the Sharks game I will be taking it day by day until the match. I am looking forward to it and I want to contribute to the Kings because that is the most important thing.”
Bock takes the place of Malcolm Jaer, who has a shoulder injury and was not considered for selection.
Head coach Deon Davids is expecting a tough game after his team lost to the Stormers in their last outing.
“There were aspects of our game last week where we did some good things, but there is also stuff that we need to tidy up,” Davids said.
“At times we do seem like we are losing against ourselves.
“We need to be more clinical. It’s all about executing better. It is important that we up our work ethic and do the work for 80 minutes.”
Davids has made five changes to his starting team.
After his debut off the bench last week, Wilhelm van der Sluys will start at lock alongside Irne Herbst, with Tyler Paul, who started in the No 5 jersey in the past two matches, moving to the bench.
Andisa Ntsila gets back into the starting team at No 7, replacing Thembelani Bholi.
In the backline, Louis Schreuder, who has been cleared following a concussion against the Sunwolves a fortnight ago, will start at scrumhalf, while Berton Klaasen makes his way back to No 13, replacing Luzuko Vulindlu, who sustained a concussion against the Stormers.
Meanwhile, Sharks coach Robert du Preez has selected untested Benhard Janse van Rensburg at flyhalf ahead of more experienced candidates for Saturday’s clash.
The 20-year-old Janse van Rensburg is one of seven changes made by Du Preez from the side that beat the Waratahs at King’s Park and he has been chosen ahead of Innocent Radebe and Garth April.
Janse van Rensburg comes in for the injured Pat Lambie, while last week’s star, Curwin Bosch, moves to fullback.
Lubabalo “Tera” Mtembu captains the side in a newish-looking back row with Jacques Vermeulen replacing, the injured Phillip van der Walt.
Lourens Adriaanse‚ Mahlatse “Chiliboy” Ralepelle and Thomas du Toit are part of a new-look front row.
Southern Kings: Masixole Banda, Makazole Mapimpi, Berton Klaasen, Waylon Murray, Alshaun Bock, Lionel Cronje, Louis Schreuder, Ruaan Lerm, Andisa Ntsila, Chris Cloete, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Irne Herbst, Ross Geldenhuys, Michael Willemse, Schalk Ferreira (capt). Replacements: Kurt Haupt, Schalk van der Merwe, Justin Forwood, Tyler Paul, Stefan Willemse, Johan Steyn, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, Johann Tromp.
Shas: Curwin Bosch‚ Kobus van Wyk‚ Lukhanyo Am‚ Andre Esterhuizen‚ Odwa Ndungane‚ Benhard Janse van Rensburg‚ Cobus Reinach‚ Lubabalo Mtembu (captain)‚ Jean-Luc du Preez‚ Jacques Vermeulen‚ Ruan Botha‚ Stephan Lewies‚ Lourens Adriaanse‚ Chiliboy Ralepelle‚ Thomas du Toit. Replacements: Stephan Coetzee‚ Juan Schoeman‚ John-Hubert Meyer‚ Etienne Oosthuizen‚ Daniel du Preez‚ Michael Claassens‚ Jeremy Ward.