Andries Coetzee returns for the Lions
Springbok fullback Andries Coetzee is back in the Lions teams for this weekend’s round two Super Rugby match against the Reds at Ellis Park.
Coetzee, who only returned to Joburg last week after a short stint playing in Japan over the Christmas season, replaces Tiaan Swanepoel, who started against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires last weekend.
Exciting scrumhalf Morne van den Berg has been elevated to the starting team after playing off the bench last week, replacing the injured Andre Warner.
These are the only changes to the starting side that lost 38-8 last Saturday.
Lions boss Cash van Rooyen likened the 22-year-old Van den Berg to former Lions player and Springbok star Faf de Klerk.
"We don't like comparing players but there's a little Faf coming ... he's that kind of player," said Van Rooyen.
"He's tough, he's nuggety; he'll have a go. He's desperate and that's great. He'll bring the energy and I'm looking forward to seeing him play."
Lions fans meanwhile will have to wait a little longer to see Jaco Kriel and Willem Alberts back in Lions jerseys after returning to the franchise after spells playing abroad. Flank Kriel will be ready to play in the second half of March following ankle surgery, while Alberts could be available to play next week when the Lions host the Stormers.
The Reds meanwhile have picked Wallaby utility back James O’Connor at flyhalf for Saturday’s match, which kicks off at 3pm.
Also in the Reds back division are the dangerous Bryce Hegarty and Henry Speight and the impressive young centre Jordan Petaia.
Lions: Andries Coetzee, Tyrone Green, Duncan Matthews, Dan Kriel, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies (capt), Morne van den Berg, Len Massyn, Vincent Tshituka, Marnus Schoeman, Marvin Orie, Ruben Schoeman, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter Jansen, Dylan Smith.
Replacements: Jan-Henning Campher, Sti Sithole, Carlu Sadie, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Ruan Vermaak, Dillon Smit, Manuel Rass, Shaun Reynolds@jacq_west