Schalk Ferreira will lead the Kings out against the Cheetahs at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday in the PRO14’s first South African derby.
The only changes to the starting XV that went down 37-7 in Edinburgh last week come at lock where the regular starting pair of Bobby De Wee and Stephan Greeff are restored.
Their return will bolster a Kings scrum that rates among the best in the competition with an overall success rate of 96%.
There are changes to the back three with wings Michael Makase and Anthony Volmink coming back while right wing Yaw Penxe moves to fullback, and the halfback combination of Rowan Gouws and Oliver Zono replace Rudi van Rooyen and Kurt Coleman.
Ferreira will lead the team in the absence of Michael Willemse who has made sufficient recovery from a long-term groin injury to take a seat on the bench.
The Kings are still searching for their first win after 11 matches in this year’s competition and Davids, who rested his first-choice locks last week with the Cheetahs in mind, is hopeful that the drought is about to end.
“Players naturally seem to lift their game a notch or two when it’s a local derby,” said the Kings coach. “My main message to the team this week has been to not let the emotion of the occasion get to them and to show patience when on attack. We must also endeavour to play in the right areas of the park and keep our mistakes to a minimum.”
KINGS: 15 Yaw Penxe, 14 Michael Makase, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Martin du Toit, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Oliver Zono, 9 Rowan Gouws, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Tienie Burger, 6 Eital Bredenkamp, 5 Bobby de Wee, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Stephan Coetzee, 1 Schalk Ferreira (c)
Bench: 16 Michael Willemse, 17 Johan Smith, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Lindokuhle Welemu, 20 Freddy Ngoza, 21 Rudi van Rooyen, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa, 23 Harlon Klaasen