JOHANNESBURG – The Lions will take on the Sharks in a round 15 Super Rugby match in Durban on Saturday without key hooker, Malcolm Marx, in the ranks.
Springbok-contracted Marx will sit out the clash, allowing young Jan-Henning Campher an opportunity to start in the middle of the front row for the first time. His back-up on the bench will be Pieter Jansen.
In Marx’s absence, loose-forward Kwagga Smith will assume the captaincy, with Warren Whiteley still sidelined due to a bruised knee.
There are also two new props joining Campher in the front row, namely Johannes Jonker and Dylan Smith. At the back, the only change is at scrumhalf where Nic Groom comes in for Ross Cronje, who this week underwent a minor procedure, which has ruled him out of the trip to Durban.
There are also some interesting changes on the bench, with lock-cum-flank Reinhardt Nothnagel getting a chance to show what he can do, while Shaun Reynolds and Tyrone Green are the only specialist backs among the replacements. Hacjivah Dayimani, normally a flank or eighthman, could come on as a back, having recently been tested in the midfield in the SuperSport Challenge.
The Lions go into the match on the back of back-to-back wins against the Waratahs and Highlanders.
The Sharks had a bye last weekend.
The Emirates Lions team is:
Andries Coetzee; Courtnall Skosan, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Aphiwe Dyantyi; Elton Jantjies, Nic Groom; Kwagga Smith (captain), Cyle Brink, Marnus Schoeman, Marvin Orie, Stephan Lewies, Johannes Jonker, Jan-Henning Campher, Dylan Smith.
Pieter Jansen, Sti Sithole, Carlu Sadie, Reinhard Nothnagel, Vincent Tshituka, Hacjivah Dayimani, Shaun Reynolds, Tyrone Green.@jacq_west