JOHANNESBURG – The Lions have made four changes to their team for Saturday’s all-important Super Rugby showdown with the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld. Kickoff is 5.15pm.
The most significant change from the side that lost to the Hurricanes last week is at centre where Elton Jantjies comes off the bench to replace Harold Vorster. The No 12 jersey isn’t unfamiliar to the Springbok flyhalf who wore the jersey earlier this season when Gianni Lombard was used at No 10.
It means Shaun Reynolds, who has started the last two games at flyhalf, is retained at pivot where he will come up against Handre Pollard.
The Lions, in sixth place on the overall log, need to win the game to advance to the quarter-finals next week, while the Bulls, who’re fifth, should get in with a draw.
The other big change made among the backs by coach Swys de Bruin is at wing where the energetic Tyrone Green is preferred to Courtnall Skosan.
In the forwards, Hacjivah Dayimani has been handed the No 8 jumper in place of the injured Kwagga Smith, while Rhyno Herbst has been preferred to rookie Reinhard Nothnagel as Marvin Orie’s lock partner.
There are also some new faces on the bench. Back-up scrumhalf Dillon Smit gets another opportunity, at the expense of Nic Groom, while exciting outside back Wandisile Simelane has also been handed a chance to again show what he can do at this level.
The Lions are:
Andries Coetzee, Tyrone Green, Lionel Mapoe, Elton Jantjies, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Shaun Reynolds, Ross Cronje, Hacjivah Dayimani, Vincent Tshituka, Cyle Brink, Marvin Orie, Rhyno Herbst, Carlu Sadie, Malcolm Marx, Dylan Smith.
Replacements: Jan-Henning Campher, Nathan McBeth, Johannes Jonker, Reinhard Nothnagel, Marnus Schoeman, Dillon Smit, Wandisile Simelane, Courtnall Skosan@jacq_west