The Lions have been boosted by the return of an experienced Springbok for their clash with the Stormers in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The match at Ellis Park, where both teams will be looking to end their respective two-match losing streaks, kicks off at 1.30pm and will be the Lions’ first home game of the competition.
Willem Alberts, with 43 Springbok caps to his name, will bring considerable experience to the side after he has recovered from an injury niggle and been included on the bench, from where he can cover both lock and loose forward.
The experienced Burger Odendaal will lead the Lions into battle and takes over at inside centre from Dan Kriel, who led the team in the past fortnight.
Apart from the change in midfield, coach Ivan van Rooyen made two more changes to his starting XV, with Jordan Hendrikse – younger brother of Sharks scrumhalf Jaden – getting an opportunity at flyhalf in place of Fred Zeilinga, while Jaco Visagie will start at hooker, swapping places with PJ Botha.
Zeilinga and Botha join Alberts and Kriel on the bench, where Springbok prop Ruan Dreyer also returns to the Lions match-day squad.
Hooker Jan-Henning Campher, wing Stean Pienaar, loose forward Sibusiso Sangweni, lock Wilhelm van der Sluys and fullback Tiaan Swanepoel were not considered for selection due to injuries.
Lions – 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Rabz Maxwane, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 MJ Pelser, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole.
Subs: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Emmanuel Tshituka, 21 Morne van den Berg, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Dan Kriel.
Photo: Gallo Images