JOHANNESBURG – It was the usual suspects when Lions coach Swys de Bruin named his 2018 Super Rugby squad on Tuesday, as the franchise look to make it third time lucky after losing in the final in 2016 and 2017.
No less than 13 Springboks were named in the squad of 40, which now doesn’t include overseas-based stars of recent years Faf de Klerk and Ruan Ackermann, who are playing in England.
But De Bruin will have the likes of Malcolm Marx, Franco Mostert, Jaco Kriel, Warren Whiteley, Ross Cronje, Elton Jantjies, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Lionel Mapoe and Andries Coetzee to bank on in the coming season.
Wings Ruan Combrinck and Courtnall Skosan were named in the squad even though both are currently injured so for the first few round of action expect rookies Madosh Tambwe and Aphiwe Dyantyi to get a run in the No 11 and 14 jerseys.
Sevens star Kwagga Smith is also in the squad and set to play big role in the coming months, while promising Hacjivah Dayimani will also hope to get regular game time.
The Lions squad is:
Backs: Andries Coetzee, Sylvian Mahuza, Ruan Combrinck, Courtnall Skosan, Madosh Tambwe, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Harold Vorster, Howard Mnisi, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Lionel Mapoe, Elton Jantjies, Shaun Reynolds, Ashlon Davids, Marco Janse van Vuren, Tian Meyer, Ross Cronje, Dillon Smit
Forwards: Warren Whiteley, Jaco Kriel, Hacjivah Dayimani, Marnus Schoeman, Len Massyn, Willem Engelbrecht, Cyle Brink, Kwagga Smith, Franco Mostert, Andries Ferreira, Marvin Orie, Rhyno Herbst, Robert Kruger, Jacques van Rooyen, Corne Fourie, Johannes Jonker, Dylan Smith, Sti Sithole, Ruan Dreyer, Jacobie Adriaanse, Malcolm Marx, Robbie Coetzee