PRO 14 COMPETITION
New Kings on the block have Scarlets second-guessing
Even before they have held a training session or kicked a ball in earnest, the Southern Kings have got their Pro14 opponents scratching their heads.
In an age of intense pre-match analysis, the Scarlets will not have a single video clip to help them tackle the Kings on the opening day of the season on September 2 in Wales.
Because of their frantic last-minute efforts to recruit players, the Kings will be an unknown quantity and this is causing concern in opposition ranks.
Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac said the movement of players meant he was unsure of who they would be coming up against at Parc y Scarlets.
So far, the Kings have signed up only 22 players and plan to have their first training session on Thursday.
"There are a lot of changes in the Kings squad, so they are going to be an unknown quantity for us," said Pivac.
"It is going to be a bit of a wait-and-see for the South African sides. We are having a look at them at the moment, looking at the way they play more so than the individuals they have got because there are a lot of changes in personnel.
"But 90% of what we are doing is focusing on what we bring, making sure our house is in order and, hopefully, replicating the form we showed at the end of last season," he said.
Pivac is set to give his Wales internationals a run-out in their next preseason assignment against Bristol at Clifton RFC on Saturday. The Scarlets began their schedule with an 82-12 victory over a Premiership Select XV at Llandovery’s Church Bank last weekend.
"It was good to run for some of our plays and for some of the new boys to get a taste of it," Pivac said. "This Saturday, it will be a mixture of the group that played in Llandovery, plus all the internationals, except for the Lions. It is just a matter of making a decision about how much game time those internationals will get."
The Kings players signed so far: Berton Klaasen, Bobby de Wee, CJ Velleman, Cornal Hendricks, Dries van Schalkwyk, Jacques Nel, Jarryd Sage, Khaya Majola, Giant Mtyanda, Lusanda Badiyana, Masixole Banda, Ntabeni Dukisa, Oliver Zono, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, Rowan Gouws, Sibusiso Sithole, Schalk Ferreira, Stephan Greeff, Tango Balekile, Tienie Burger, Victor Sekekete, Yaw Penxe