Battling Kings face prop headache

Cape Town - The Southern Kings arrived in Johannesburg on Monday morning after a two-week tour of Wales and Ireland to get their debut season in the PRO14 competition underway.

“Both (props) Ettienne Swanepoel and Rossouw de Klerk will unfortunately not be available for the next match against Leinster on Saturday, September 16 since they failed their mandatory head impact assessments (HIA’s). Both suffered blows to the head and in Ettienne’s case he was knocked unconscious for a while. We are very pleased to confirm though that he has not suffered any damage to his neck as was initially feared,” said Dr Clement Plaatjies.

Among other bumps and bruises that he and his medical team had to attend to, Plaatjies was also called upon to stitch a gash near the eye of prop Schalk Ferreira and a cut to the back of hooker Michael Willemse’s head.

Both are however expected to recover in time for the visit of Leinster this weekend.

The match, set to take place at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, is scheduled to kick off at 14:15.

After being axed from Super Rugby after a more than satisfactory 2017 season in which they won six of 15 matches, the Kings have struggled in their opening two PRO14 matches, going down 57-10 to the Scarlets and 32-10 to Connacht.