Seven former Bulls players to start for Lions
New recruits, scrumhalf Andre Warner, centre Dan Kriel, and wing Jamba Ulengo - all former Bulls players - have all been included in the Lions starting team by new coach Ivan van Rooyen in what will be the side’s final and biggest warm-up game ahead of the start of this year’s Super Rugby competition at the end of the month.
Also, lock Marvin Orie, flank Marnus Schoeman, wing Courtnall Skosan and centre Duncan Matthews all played for the Bulls in the early part of their careers.
Another recent Bulls man, flank Roelof Smit, who joined the Lions late last year, has been included on the bench for Sunday’s match.
Van Rooyen has named veteran No 10 Elton Jantjies as his captain for the day, and said yesterday that he would only name his full-time leader on Monday when the final Lions squad is announced. Jantjies is the favourite to take charge of the team.
Meanwhile, all three of the Bulls’ new big-name signings for the 2020 season have been named in the starting team for Sunday.
Former Springbok and Bulls stars, flyhalf Morne Steyn and lock Juandre Kruger, as well as former Lions captain and Scotland international, Josh Strauss, will feature in the pre-season hit-out against the Lions.
The biggest surprise though in the team selected by coach Pote Human is the choice of wing Cornal Hendricks at outside centre. The tall, powerful finisher, who enjoyed a good return to top-flight rugby last year after a career-threatening heart condition put his playing days on hold, will partner captain Burger Odendaal in midfield.
Lions: Tiaan Swanepoel, Jamba Ulengo, Duncan Matthews, Dan Kriel, Courtnal Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Andre Warner, Len Massyn, Vincent Tshituka, Marnus Schoeman, Marvin Orie, Ruben Schoeman, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter Jansen, Dylan Smith.
Replacements: Jan-Henning Campher, Sti Sithole, Frans van Wyk, Roelof Smit, Cyle Brink, Morne van den Berg, Manuel Rass, Jo-Hanko de Villiers, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Jan-Louis la Grange, Wandisile Simelane
Bulls: Warrick Gelant, Johnny Kotze, Cornal Hendricks, Burger Odendaal, Rosko Specman, Morne Steyn, Ivan van Zyl, Josh Strauss, Muller Uys, Wian Vosloo, Juandre Kruger, Andries Ferreira, Wiehahn Herbst, Jaco Visagie, Simphiwe Matanzima.
Replacements: Johan Grobbelaar, Gerhard Steenkamp, Mornay Smith, Ryno Pieterse, Ruan Nortje/Jean Droste, Embrose Papier, Chris Smith, Divan Rossouw, Dylan Sage, Manie Libbok, Jeandre Rudolph, Abongile Nonkontwana, Tim Agaba@jacq_west