Kings out to snap poor run
TODAY’s landmark visit by a weakened Leinster outfit presents the Southern Kings with a golden opportunity to land their first knockout blow in the competition.
After defeats on the road in Europe against Scarlets and Connach, the Kings will relish being back on home soil when Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium hosts its first Pro14 match.
The Dublin-based side have been hit by injuries, withdrawals and visa entry problems which has robbed them of key players ahead of the historic clash.
But, as cautious Kings head coach Deon Davids has warned, Leinster still remain a team brimful of quality and depth.
Leinster, four-time winners of the competition, are top of Conference B thanks to opening victories over Cardiff Blues and Newport.
After today’s clash, Leinster travel to Bloemfontein for the second game of their two-week South African safari against the Cheetahs.
“The conditions when we played in Wales and Ireland were very good,” said Davids.
“I think we took the good weather to them over there. The pitches we played on were in excellent condition, so we did not have a lot of things to complain about.
“But now it is good to play in front of our home crowd. The crowds overseas were very passionate and got behind their team which was great to see.
“We hope we can get the same from our supporters in Port Elizabeth,” said Davids.
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen says he has been keeping a close watch on the Kings and Cheetahs.
“These changes (playing in Pro14) had been mooted. I watched a lot of them in Super Rugby,” the former Ireland forward said.
“The Kings have changed drastically from what I would have seen in Super Rugby. Their squad is completely different.
“We need to make sure we pay them full respect, prepare as well as we can given some of the logistical challenges that we may have.”
The match will be shown live on SS1 at 2.15pm.