Fit-again Lionel Mapoe returns to partner Harold Vorster in the Lions midfield. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Flank Marnus Schoeman and scrumhalf Nic Groom will make their first starts for the Lions when they face the Hurricanes in a Super Rugby match in Wellington on Saturday.

Schoeman comes into the loose-trio at the expense of Hacjivah Dayimani who drops to the bench, with Groom takes the place of Dillon Smit at No 9.

Lourens Erasmus also gets his first start on tour, coming in for Andries Ferreira at lock, while Dylan Smith and Jacobie Adriaanse are the new-look prop pairing.

At the back, fit-again Lionel Mapoe returns to partner Harold Vorster in midfield after missing out through injury last week, and fit-again Aphiwe Dyantyi returns on the left wing in place of Madosh Tambwe who misses out completely this week.

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Stand-in captain Franco Mostert has also been shifted back to the second row as the Lions look to bounce back from a shock 27-22 defeat by the Reds in Brisbane last week. The Lions were 27-0 down just after half-time but fought back to score four second half tries to take a bonus point out of the tie.
In their first match on tour the Lions beat the Waratahs 29-0 in Sydney. 

The Hurricanes, the champions of 2016, have gone seven games on the trot without defeat and will be heavy favourites to win on Saturday. Their only loss so far was in their first match, against the Bulls, at Loftus. 

Kick off is 9.35am.

The teams are:

Lions: Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Elton Jantjies, Nic Groom, Kwagga Smith, Cyle Brink, Marnus Schoeman, Franco Mostert, Lourens Erasmus, Jacobie Adriaanse, Malcolm Marx, Dylan Smith. 
Replacements: Robbie Coetzee, Ruan Dreyer, Johannes Jonker, Marvin Orie, Hacjivah Dayimani, Ashlon Davids, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Sylvian Mahuza

Hurricanes: Jordie Barrett, Julian Savea, Matt Proctor, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Beauden Barrett, Finlay Christie, Gareth Evans, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields (capt), Michael Fatialofa, Vaea Fifita, Jeff To’omaga-Allen, Ricky Riccitelli, Toby Smith. 
Replacements: James O’Reilly, Chris Eves, Ben May, Sam Lousi, Reed Prinsep, Jamie Booth, Ihaia West, Nehe Milner-Skudder

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