Johannesburg – Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies will make only his second start of the season when his side take on the defending Super Rugby champions, the Chiefs, in Hamilton on Saturday.
The playmaker pivot takes over the number-10 jersey from regular flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff, who moves to the replacement bench.
It will be the first game this season Boshoff and his trusty kicking boot will not be in the starting line-up.
Jantjies was rushed into the side for the match against the Sharks in Durban at the beginning of March, with Boshoff playing in the last line of defence after impressing at flyhalf in the Lions’ opening three matches.
However, Jantjies appeared rusty and was subsequently relegated to the bench the following week before being shipped off to the Vodacom Cup side to regain some confidence.
The Lions will field a completely new halfback combination after their 18-3 loss to the Stormers in Cape Town a fortnight ago, with scrumhalf Faf de Klerk receiving a starting berth at the expense of Ross Cronje.
Deon van Rensburg moves back onto the wing having recovered from a minor injury and takes the place of Anthony Volmink.
Meanwhile, among the forwards, the side welcomes back captain and eighthman Warren Whiteley.
On the bench, Armand van der Merwe looks set to make his Super Rugby debut should he get a run on Saturday.
Prop Jacques van Rooyen will also provide cover off the bench having been called up from the Vodacom Cup squad.
The Lions will be looking to get their campaign back on track after suffering three consecutive defeats.
It is unlikely to get any easier for the Johannesburg-based side as a South African franchise is yet to register a win in the Antipodes.
Saturday’s match will kick off at 9.35am (SA time).
Lions team: Chrysander Botha, Deon van Rensburg, Lionel Mapoe, Stefan Watermeyer, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk, Warren Whiteley (captain), Derick Minnie, Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert, Martin Muller, Julian Redelinghuys, Robbie Coetzee, Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: Armand van der Merwe, Jacques van Rooyen, Ruan Dreyer, MB Lusaseni, Willie Britz, Ross Cronje, Marnitz Boshoff, JW Jonker. – Sapa