• Backline reshuffle for Lions

    The Golden Lions have made eight changes, including a number of positional switches, for their match against Western Province at Ellis Park on Saturday.

    Injuries have forced coach Johan Ackermann's hand as he looks to guide his side back to winning ways following two successive defeats.

    In the backs, the injured duo of Ross Cronjé and Alwyn Hollenbach are replaced by Ricky Schroeder and Courtnall Skosan respectively. Stokkies Hanekom shifts to inside centre in Hollenbach's absence, with Lionel Mapoe coming in on his outside. Ruan Combrinck moves out to the right wing, with Skosan slotting in on the opposite flank.

    With captain Derick Minnie ruled out for three weeks, the Lions have also made a number of changes to their loose trio. Willie Britz is handed the No 8 jumper, while Kwagga Smith gets his chance from the start, following an impressive cameo against the Blue Bulls.

    Jaco Kriel's participation remains doubtful after suffering a knock to his calf in training on Tuesday and he is bracketed with Warwick Tecklenburg in the openside role. In the final change to the starting XV, Armand van der Merwe starts at hooker, while Willie Wepener is rested.

    On the bench, Junior Springbok Malcolm Marx could make his debut should he get onto the field, while Michael Bondesio comes in as scrumhalf cover.

    Golden Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe (c), 12 Stokkies Hanekom, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ricky Schroeder, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel/Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 MB Lusaseni, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
    Subs: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Martin Muller, 19 Warwick Tecklenburg/Steph de Wit, 20 Michael Bondesio, 21 Mark Richards, 22 Howard Mnisi.

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