Lions welcome back stalwarts in preparation for British and Irish Lions game
Share this article:
JOHANNESBURG - The Joburg-based Lions revealed a smidgen of their plans on Monday when they announced their squad (via Twitter) which will prepare for the British and Irish Lions this week.
Coach Ivan van Rooyen has welcomed back first choice selections, such as captain Burger Odendaal, Sti Sithole, MJ Pelser, and veteran Jannie du Plessis. Regular starting hooker, Jaco Visagie, will also be in the selection mix after making his return to the team in the Lions' impressive victory in the Currie Cup over the Western Province last week.
Flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse, who has been doing duty for the Baby Boks this past fortnight in their U20 Internations Series against Georgia and Argentina, has also made the squad, and will vie for the No 10 jersey against Fred Zeilinga. Lions fans will also be happy to note that former Springbok Jaco Kriel could also make his comeback to the team after a prolonged injury lay off.
Scrumhalf Andre Warner has not made the squad, seemingly having lost the race to be fit after fracturing his cheek-bone earlier this month. Other notable absentees include Stean Pienaar and Willem Alberts - who is out injured for the rest of the Currie Cup season.
Meanwhile, Elton Jantjies and Wandisile Simelane are currently in the Springbok setup, and will possibly be in action on Friday night against Georgia when the national team play their first Test since 2019, and are therefore not eligible for selection.
Nonetheless, on face value, Van Rooyen will be able to field close to his strongest team, especially up-front to face the BI Lions in the opening match of their South African tour.
The Lions entered a bio-bubble for the match - planned for a 3pm kick-of on Saturday at Emirates Airline Park - on Monday. It remains to be seen whether the match will continue in Johannesburg - currently in the grips of a devastating Covid-19 wave - or if it will be moved to Cape Town.
An update on that particular decision is expected later on Monday.
Lions squad for BI Lion match
Forwards: PJ Botha, Ruan Dreyer, Jannie du Plessis, Franke Horn, Jaco Kriel, Nathan McBeth, Reinhard Nothnagel, MJ Pelser, Carlu Sadie, Sibusiso Sangweni, Ruben Schoeman, Sti Sithole, Ruhan Straeuli, Emmanuel Tshituka, Vincent Tshituka, Jaco Visagie
Backs: Jordan Hendrikse, Dan Kriel, Rabx Maxwane, Burger Odendaal, Manuel Rass, Dillon Smit, Jamba Ulengo, Morne van den Berg, EW Viljoen, Fred Zeilinga