Jaco Kriel will lead a near full-strength Lions team against the Sunwolves in Johannesburg this Saturday.
Coach Johan Ackermann has named all of his available Boks in the starting lineup, which sees Ruan Dreyer, Malcolm Marx, Franco Mostert, Ross Cronjé, Elton Jantjies, Courtnall Skosan and Andries Coetzee called into frontline action.
The Lions are clearly determined to collect a full haul of five log points from this clash ahead of next weekend's bye, while looking to cut the deficit between themselves and overall log-points leaders, the Crusaders.
With Warren Whiteley unavailable due to injury, Ruan Ackermann shifts to No 8 as expected, while Kwagga Smith comes straight in at No 7, with Kriel taking over the leadership reins.
Kriel also refuted a report linking him with a potential move to Wasps, with the flanker confirming that he remained contracted to the Lions for next season.
Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Subs: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.
Photo: Anne Laing/HM Images