Teenager Jordan Hendriske to start at flyhalf for Lions’ clash against Stormers
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JOHANNESBURG – Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen has made a massive call, and placed his faith in young flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse to help lead the Joburg-based outfit to their first victory of the Rainbow Cup South Africa against the Stormers this weekend.
The 19-year-old will make his first start for the Lions this season in a crunch match with both teams desperate to win after failing to do so in their two previous encounters. Hendrikse replaces veteran Fred Zeilinga, who is suffering from a slight niggle, but who will be on the bench for Saturday's encounter at Emirates Airline Park (kick-off 2pm).
Lions' supporters will also be happy to note that the big bruiser, Willem Alberts, is back in the matchday squad, and will add much needed grunt to the forwards pack in the later stages of the encounter. The incumbent front-row of last season, meanwhile, is also reunited with hooker Jaco Visagie promoted into the starting XV to pack down with Sti Sithole and Carlu Sadie.
On the bench Ruan Dreyer will surely make his competitive debut this season, with stand-in captain Dan Kriel rotated onto the bench. Former Bulls skipper, the experienced Burger Odendall will take over his duties, and his position in the other major change in the team's structure.
Lions Starting XV: EW Viljoen; Rabz Maxwane, Wandisile Simelane, Burger Odendaal (captain), Courtnall Skosan; Jordan Hendrikse, André Warner; Francke Horn, Vincent Tshituka, MJ Pelser, Reinhard Nothnagel, Ruben Schoeman, Carlu Sadie, Jaco Visagie, Sti Sithole; Replacements: PJ Botha, Ruan Dreyer, Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Willem Alberts, Emmanuel Tshituka, Morné van den Berg, Fred Zeilinga, Dan Kriel