JOHANNESBURG – Lions coach Swys de Bruin has picked a near full-strength side for his team’s final Super Rugby warm-up match against the Sharks in Cape Town on Sunday.
The match, which will kick off at 2pm at the Cape Town Stadium, is the first of the double-header Superhero Sunday where the teams will be kitted out in the colours of superheroes; the Lions will be in Spiderman colours. The second match, between the Stormers and Bulls, kicks off at 4pm.
No less than nine Springboks are in the Lions starting team. Warren Whiteley will lead the side at No 8 in what will be the outfit’s final game before the start of Super Rugby in two weeks’ time.
In the star-studded backline, only centre Harold Vorster and scrumhalf Nic Groom haven’t donned the Bok jumper, while up front, exciting youngsters like Hacjivah Dayimani, Ruan Vermaak and Carlu Sadie get a chance to show what they are capable of.
De Bruin has also named 11 players on his bench, including Bok fullback-cum-wing Ruan Combrinck. Some of the players who weren’t considered for the match because of injury or illness include Bok No 9 Ross Cronje and new signing, lock Stephan Lewies.
De Bruin is expected to trim and finalise his Super Rugby squad following Sunday’s game, with the three-time competition runners-up scheduled to play the Jaguares in their first game of the new season in Buenos Aires in two weeks’ time.
The Lions team is:
Andries Coetzee, Courtnall Skosan, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Elton Jantjies, Nic Groom, Warren Whiteley (capt), Hacjivah Dayimani, Kwagga Smith, Marvin Orie, Ruan Vermaak, Carlu Sadie, Malcolm Marx, Dylan Smith.
Replacements: Pieter Jansen, Danie Mienie, Frans van Wyk, Jacobie Adriaanse, Marnus Schoeman, Dillon Smith, Shaun Reynolds, Sylvian Mahuza, Ruan Combrinck, Vincent Tshituka, Rhyno Herbst@jacq_west