Kings out to snap poor run

Daily Dispatch - - Sport - RUGBY By GE­ORGE BY­RON

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.

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