Lions team for crunch clash against Blue Bulls
JOHANNESBURG – There will be no mucking about with what-ifs, or could-have-beens on Wednesday when a powerful, near full-strength Lions side runs out against the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versveld.
Coach Ivan van Rooyen has mostly named an unchanged side, making changes to his centre-pairing, in the loose-forwards and the front-row. Burger Odendaal will slot in at outside centre, replacing Wandisile Simelane – who drops down to the bench – and will partner with Dan Kriel in the midfield, while Marnus Schoeman comes in for Jaco Kriel on the flank.
After taking a breather against the Pumas last week, Jannie du Plessis returns to the starting XV in place of Wiehahn Herbst, who had a tough time of it in his debut for the Joburgers against a bullish Nelspruit-based outfit this past weekend.
On the bench, Ross Cronje comes in as cover in the stead of Morne van den Berg, while former Baby Bok Francke Horn could make an appearance off the bench as well.
Due to Level 3 restrictions, the Lions’ final regular season match will kick off at 4pm on Wednesday. The Lions are currently third in the standings, and a victory over the Bulls could give them a chance to secure a semi-final at Emirates Airline Park, depending on the outcome of the Western Province v Sharks game at Newlands on Saturday.
Lions Starting XV: Tiaan Swanepoel, Stean Pienaar, Burger Odendaal, Dan Kriel, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies (capt), Andre Warner; Len Massyn, Vincent Tshituka, Marnus Schoeman, Marvin Orie, Willem Alberts, Jannie du Plessis, Jaco Visagie, Dylan Smith; Replacements: Jan-Henning Campher, Ruan Dreyer, Carlu Sadie, Reinhardt Nothnagel, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Ross Cronje, Wandisile Simelane, Francke Horn