Lions lock Reinhard Nothnagel comes in for first URC start against Ulster
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Johannesburg – As expected, Reinhard Nothnagel will make his first start of the United Rugby Championship for the Emirates Lions when they play Ulster on Friday night (kick-off 8.35pm).
The lock will pack down in the No 5 position after replacing the injured Pieter Jansen van Vuren, who injured his MCL in the Glasgow encounter last weekend. It is not the only change that coach Ivan van Rooyen has made to the pack.
As part of the team’s rotational policy, Carlu Sadie has also been selected in the starting XV and will join Jaco Visagie and Sti Sithole in the frontrow in the hopes of putting pressure on a powerful Ulter forwards unit. Sibusiso Sangweni will also make his first start in the tournament, replacing Springbok Jaco Kriel.
"There were quite a few aspects we felt we improved on in our performance against Glasgow Warriors last week, and that's the kind of momentum we want to take into the Ulster game," said Ivan van Rooyen in the union’s statement "This is the final game of our four-week tour so naturally we want to end it on a high."
Meanwhile, Fred Zeilinga, who joined the squad this week to shore up the No 10 position, will start the game from the bench, meaning that EW Viljoen will once again do duty in the all-important flyhalf position. Other players selected on the bench to make their debuts in the URC are lock Wilhelm van der Sluys, and utility-forward Emmanuel Tshituka.
As stated, it will be the Lions’ final tour match, after which they will return to South Africa. A four week hiatus will then follow for all the SA franchises before they play again. Currently, upon return to the competition, the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers are scheduled to return to Italy to play two “home” against European opposition on the weekend of November 26 and December 3.
Lions Starting XV: 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Burger Odendaal (capt), 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 EW Viljoen, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Ruhan Straeuli, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole
Replacements: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Emmanuel Tshituka, 21 Morne van den Berg, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Wandisile Simelane