JOHANNESBURG – Emirates Lions coach Johan Ackermann has made three changes to his starting team for Saturday’s (7am) Super Rugby clash against the Rebels in Melbourne.
Regular bench-sitter, lock Lourens Erasmus, comes into the starting team in place of Andries Ferreira, who has been given some much-needed time off, while Cyle Brink, who’s been on the fringes of the squad this year, gets an opportunity on the side of the scrum in place of Ruan Ackermann, who’s virtually played every minute of every game this season.
The final change is at the back where Ross Cronje comes into the team at the expense of Faf de Klerk, who misses out entirely for this match. The back-up No 9 is Dillon Smit, who fulfilled the role against the Force a week ago.
Other new faces on the bench include Akker van der Merwe, Hencus van Wyk and Robert Kruger. Ackermann has no doubt decided to give all his tour members game time.
The Lions go into the match on the back of a bonus-point win against the Force, while the Rebels are back in Melbourne after drawing with the Sharks and being hammered by the Kings a week ago. They have only won twice this season.
The Lions will be confident of picking up another five points before taking on the Brumbies in Canberra next week in their final tour game – arguably their toughest match of the three-week trip.
Andries Coetzee, Sylvian Mahuza, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje, Warren Whiteley (captain), Cyle Brink, Kwagga Smith, Franco Mostert, Lourens Erasmus, Ruan Dreyer, Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen.
Bench: Akker van der Merwe, Corne Fourie, Hencus van Wyk, Ruan Ackermann, Robert Kruger, Dillon Smit, Jacques Nel, Anthony Volmink.