JOHANNESBURG – Lions boss Swys de Bruin has picked a familiar looking side for his team’s opening Super Rugby match for the 2019 season against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
Eight Springboks have been included in the starting team, with a further one on the bench.
Warren Whiteley will again lead the side at a venue where the Lions are yet to win. The lost all three previous Super Rugby matches in Buenos Aires, going back to 2016.
Players who were not considered for the match because of injury include Kwagga Smith (calf), Stepahn Lewies (shoulder), Cyle Brink (knee) and Ross Cronjé (shoulder).
In a star-studded backline, Nic Groom will wear the No 9 jersey, with Courtnall Skosan and Aphiwe Dyantyi on the wings.
Up front, Whiteley is joined in the loose trio by the exciting Hacjivah Dayimani and specialist openside Marnus Schoeman, while in the second row, Marvin Orie and young Rhyno Herbst will lock the scrum.
New recruit from the Stormers, Carlu Sadie, will pack down at tighthead prop.
Saturday’s match kicks off at 11.45pm (SA time).
Andries Coetzee, Courtnall Skosan, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Elton Jantjies, Nic Groom, Warren Whiteley (captain), Hacjivah Dayimani, Marnus Schoeman, Marvin Orie, Rhyno Herbst, Carlu Sadie, Malcolm Marx, Dylan Smith.
Bench: Pieter Jansen, Frans van Wyk, Jacobie Adriaanse, Ruan Vermaak, Robert Kruger, Gianni Lombard/Dillon Smit, Wandisile Simelane, Ruan Combrinck.
Warren Whiteley will lead a strong Emirates Lions side when they take the field against the Jaguares in their Vodacom Super Rugby opener in Argentina on Saturday evening (23:40 SA time). #JAGvLIO #LionsPride pic.twitter.com/7uwwv56t4i— Emirates Lions (@LionsRugbyCo) February 12, 2019