JC Astle (lock) will lead a fairly strong Isuzu Southern Kings outfit against the Vodacom Super Rugby outfit, but the franchise’s Director of Rugby, Robbie Kempson, is using the exercise as more than just an opportunity to test his player depth.

Instead of being in the coaches’ box at Loerie Park, Kempson will patrol the touchline and pass on messages from Zangqa to the players.

“Vuyo will take over the head coach role for this game and Braam van Straaten (the team’s defence and kicking coach) will guide the side in another friendly against Nelson Mandela University (NMU) next Friday,” said Kempson.

“Vuyo has come on in leaps and bounds, particularly through his interaction with Swys de Bruin, who has been with us as attack consultant.

“This opportunity gives him a bit of a growth pathway.

“Braam will be beside him in the box, while I will be taking on the honourable task of running on the side of the field and passing on the messages that come from the coaches.”

Kempson, who is on the lookout for a head coach for the 2020/2021 Guinness PRO14 season in a move that would enable him to fulfil his duties as Director of Rugby, will continue to coach the Isuzu Southern Kings until the end of the season.

By giving his assistant coaches a chance to get head coaching experience, however, he will not only grow the current coaching team, it would also increase Kempson’s options going forward.

Although not at full strength, the DHL Stormers will field a good team that includes three Springboks, Rugby World Cup-winning front-row forwards Bongi Mbonambi (hooker) and Frans Malherbe (prop), as well as veteran lock Hilton Lobberts.

“The Stormers have picked quite a strong side with a few Boks and that will be good for us,” said Kempson. “From our side, we will be looking to give some guys who have been out for a bit prolonged game time.

“It is good to have Masixole (Banda) back and we will be using this as an opportunity to get him back up to speed,” said Kempson.

Isuzu Southern Kings team: 15 - Masixole Banda, 14 - Christopher Hollis, 13 - Sibusiso Sithole, 12 - Tertius Kruger, 11 - Yaw Penxe, 10 - Bader Pretorius, 9 - Theo Maree, 8 - Lusanda Badiyana, 7 - Bobby de Wee, 6 - Luyolo Dapula, 5 - JC Astle (captain), 4 - Gideon van Niekerk, 3 - Rossouw de Klerk, 2 - Alandre van Rooyen, 1 - Xandre Vos. Replacements: 16 - Robin Stevens, 17 - Schalk Ferreira, 18 - Ig Prinsloo, 19 - Ashton Fortuin, 20 - Jerry Sexton, 21 - Riaan Olivier, 22 - Stefan Ungerer, 23 - Courtney Winnaar, 24 - JT Jackson, 25 - Edmund Ludik, 26 - Andell Loubser.