Dragons’ dirt-trackers hope to impress

Wales kick off their tour of South Africa against the EP Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in PE on Tuesday night.

It will be hard for the players named in Wales' midweek XV to force their way into the starting side for the first Test but there are places in the 23 up for grabs.

Dan Lydiate will captain Wales having recovered from a hamstring injury that ruled him out of Racing Métro's season run-in as well as the Probables vs Possibles trial. He desperately needs game time. Another possible starter for the weekend is wing Alex Cuthbert, whose sheer size could be an asset against the Boks.

Lydiate will lead a squad that includes all four uncapped players who have made the journey to South Africa. Three of those players have been named in the starting XV, with Matthew Morgan lining up at fullback, Steven Shingler at inside centre and Jordan Williams on the wing.

Meanwhile, new signing Hansie Graaff says the Kings will be anxious to make a huge statement as they look ahead to their return to the Currie Cup Premier Division after a 12-year absence from the top flight. The former Sharks fullback is one of a number of new faces announced in the Kings team to face the Welsh.

'It is an exhibition match so there is no pressure on us, but we also do not want to look like fools,' said Graaff. 'We are going out to try and make a huge statement to Wales and the other Currie Cup teams as well.'

Kick-off is at 7pm and the match will be broadcast on SuperSport 1 and HD1.

EP Kings – 15 Hansie Greeff, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Scott van Breda, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Devin Oosthuizen, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Darron Nell (c), 3 Charl du Plessis, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Subs: 16 Albe de Swardt, 17 BG Uys, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Steven Cummins, 20 Stefan Willemse, 21 Jaco Grobler, 22 Dwayne Jenner, 23 Ntabeni Dukisa.

Wales – 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Steven Shingler, 11 Jordan Williams, 10 James Hook, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Dan Baker, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Dan Lydiate (c), 5 Ian Evans, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Paul James.
Subs: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Aaron Jarvis, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 George North, 23 Liam Williams.

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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