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Still no Combrinck for high-flying Lions

Super Rugby

JOHANNESBURG – Lions boss Johan Ackermann has resisted the temptation to pick fit-again Springbok wing Ruan Combrinck for Saturday’s Super Rugby match against the Bulls at Ellis Park.

Combrinck hasn’t featured at all for the Lions in the current campaign after undergoing shoulder surgery last December.

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Ruan Combrinck in action for the Springboks against Wales last November. Photo: Paul Childs, Action Images via Reuters

He returned to action three weeks ago, however, and has played twice for the Golden Lions in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge.

But Ackermann said the winger probably needed another game under his belt before considering him for the Super Rugby side, and also felt the men who did the business for him in Australia deserved another game.

The Lions returned from their successful three-week trip of Australia on Sunday with 14 points bagged, and Ackermann said it was the right thing to give those tourists a crack at the Bulls.

“Ruan still has some work to be done, but I also want to reward the tourists,” Ackermann said today.

“Ruan is a special player, but we’ll start introducing him to Super Rugby when the time is right.”

It is a familiar looking Lions team that will run out against the Bulls, with Faf de Klerk recalled to the squad. 

He will sit on the bench after missing out completely in the last two weeks. Ross Cronjé will again wear the No 9 jersey.

The front row is again changed, with Ruan Dreyer and Jacques van Rooyen propping up the scrum with Malcolm Marx at hooker, while Cyle Brink and Akker van der Merwe come in on the bench.

The Lions will be hunting their 11th win in 13 matches on Saturday.

Lions Team

Andries Coetzee, Sylvian Mahuza, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronjé, Warren Whiteley (captain), Ruan Ackermann, Kwagga Smith, Franco Mostert, Andries Ferreira, Ruan Dreyer, Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen.

Bench: Akker van der Merwe, Corné Fourie, Johannes Jonker, Lourens Erasmus, Cyle Brink, Faf de Klerk, Jacques Nel, Anthony Volmink.

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