The inclusion of Wandisile Simelane is one of seven changes Swys de Bruin has made to the Lions’ starting XV ahead of Saturday’s clash against the Jaguares in Johannesburg.
The Lions have just one victory from three games, and are at the bottom of the South African conference.
After last week’s home loss to the Vodacom Bulls, De Bruin has dropped some of his most senior and experienced players in favour of several youngsters from the Lions’ junior ranks.
In the backline there is an all-new centre pairing as the highly rated Simelane and Franco Naudé replace Lionel Mapoe and Harold Vorster respectively. On the wings, Sylvian Mahuza and Courtnall Skosan take over from Springbok duo Ruan Combrinck and Aphiwe Dyantyi, and Ross Cronjé starts at scrumhalf ahead of Nic Groom.
Vorster is on the bench, but Mapoe, Combrinck, Dyantyi and Groom have been left out of the match 23 altogether.
Among the pack, Vincent Tshituka comes into the back row at blindside flank at the expense of Hacjivah Dayimani, while Kwagga Smith moves from the side of the scrum to No 8 to accommodate Tshituka. In the second row, Ruan Vermaak takes over from Stephan Lewies.
The new faces on the bench include prop Nathan McBeth, loose forward James Venter and utility back Tyrone Green, who has been bracketed with Gianni Lombard.
Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Franco Naude, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Rhyno Herbst, 4 Ruan Vermaak, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx (c), 1 Dylan Smith.
Subs: 16 Pieter Jansen, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 James Venter, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Harold Vorster, 23 Gianni Lombard/Tyrone Green.
Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix