JOHANNESBURG - Springboks Aphiwe Dyantyi and Ross Cronje are back in the Lions starting team for Saturday’s Super Rugby quarter-final against the Jaguares at Ellis Park. Kick-off is 3pm.
Dyantyi, who became a Bok this year, replaces fellow national player Courtnall Skosan, who moves from the starting team of last week to the bench. Cronje also played off the bench a week ago as Nic Groom started.
Groom only lasted 15 minutes against the Bulls last Saturday before crying off with a hand injury. He underwent surgery to repair the hand on Tuesday. In total, coach Swys de Bruin has picked a side with 12 Boks in it, with a further one on the bench. “The focus this week has been on fine tuning and getting the focus up,” said De Bruin about his team’s preparations.
The Lions qualified for their third straight quarter-final after winning the SA Conference, while the Jaguares finished seventh in the overall standings. This will be their first appearance in the playoffs.
The two significant selections on the bench are those of prop Dylan Smith, who missed last week’s match against the Bulls because of a calf niggle, and back-up scrumhalf Dillon Smit, coming in for Groom.
Lions team: Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje, Warren Whiteley (capt), Cyle Brink, Kwagga Smith, Franco Mostert, Marvin Orie, Ruan Dreyer, Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements: Corne Fourie, Dylan Smith, Johannes Jonker, Lourens Erasmus, Marnus Schoeman, Dillon Smit, Courtnall Skosan, Howard Mnisi.