The Golden Lions have brought out the big guns that could just see them produce an “upset” against the Sharks in the Currie Cup semi-final in Durban on Saturday.
Springbok No 8 Warren Whiteley, who has been out of action for the last few weeks due to a groin injury, returns to the side loaded with national players for the Kings Park showdown.
Whiteley is joined by star wing Aphiwe Dyantyi and Elton Jantjies, while there are a number of other Boks still pushing for a place in Rassie Erasmus’ side.
Centre Lionel Mapoe, wing Courtnall Skosan and lock Marvin Orie will look to impress against an equally powerful Sharks outfit and make a bid for the end-of-year Bok squad for the tour to Europe.
Surprisingly, Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen has decided to stick with scrumhalf Nic Groom as the captain for the 2.30pm clash on Saturday despite the presence of Whiteley.
The latter’s return sees young sensation Hacjivah Dayimani go to the bench, but he is sure to make an impact in the second half.
#SHAvLIO | "@M_marxi2 & @FrancoMostert have been training with the senior team this week but it is imperative that the players are managed together with SA Rugby for the upcoming Test against England,” said Rudolf Straeuli, CEO of Lions Rugby Company.
Golden Lions Team
15 Sylvian Mahuza 14 Courtnall Skosan 13 Lionel Mapoe 12 Howard Mnisi 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi 10 Elton Jantjies 9 Nic Groom (captain) 8 Warren Whiteley 7 Pikkie de Villiers 6 James Venter 5 Marvin Orie 4 Rhyno Herbst 3 Jacobie Adriaanse 2 Pieter Jansen 1 Sti Sithole.
Bench: 16 Tiaan van der Merwe 17 Danie Mienie 18 Chergin Fillies 19 Vincent Tshituka 20 Hacjivah Dayimani 21 Dillon Smit 22 Shaun Reynolds 23 Wandisile Simelane.