Warren Whiteley leads the Lions onto the field ahead of a 2017 Super Rugby match. Photo: Gerhard Steenkamp/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - New Lions Super Rugby coach Swys de Bruin has picked a powerful bench, full of X-factor, for Saturday’s Super Rugby opener against the Sharks at Ellis Park.

Besides a full and powerful front row of Robbie Coetzee, Dylan Smith and Jacobie Adriaanse warming the bench, loose-forwards Marnus Schoeman and Hacjivah Dayimani provide cover, too, while among the backs Howard Mnisi and Rohan Janse van Rensburg are sure to bring some power and finesse to proceedings later on.

De Bruin has opted for the tried and tested Lionel Mapoe and Harold Vorster in midfield, with the exciting duo of Sylvian Mahuza and Aphiwe Dyantyi slotting in on the wings.

In the starting loose-trio Warren Whiteley will be joined by the experienced Cyle Brink and the SA Sevens star Kwagga Smith, while the tight-five has a familiar look about it with Malcolm Marx the star in the front row.

Loosehead prop Jacques van Rooyen will earn his 50th Super Rugby cap on Saturday.

In all there are eight Springboks in the starting team with a further two on the bench. Not considered due to injury were Jaco Kriel, Courtnall Skosan and Ruan Combrinck.

The match on Saturday kicks off at 5.15pm.

Lions Team

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen. 

Bench: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg.

IOL Sport

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