Skipper Burger Odendaal returns to face Connacht at Ellis Park on Saturday as the Lions aim to maintain an unbeaten record against foreign opponents this season.
The Lions built an impressive four-match winning run in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship on the back of sterling performances from Odendaal, before losing to the Sharks.
It was the second of two matches the inspirational captain missed due to Covid-19 protocols but his availability, along with Jaco Visagie and Carlu Sadie off the bench, will boost the Lions as the Joburgers look to add to their impressive home record against overseas sides in the URC.
“The big thing for us now is to bounce back and it all starts with Connacht on Saturday,” assistant coach Ricardo Laubscher said.
“Key for us at this stage of the competition is to do well in our upcoming two games at home before we play Dragons away in our final fixture.”
Laubscher says Connacht, too, will strive for a positive result as the Irish outfit look to build on a eight-match winning record against South African teams.
“Connacht are a very good side, who play for each other and carry quite a bit of belief in how they do things,” he added.
“We will need to find ways of breaking them down and one way we believe we can achieve that is by playing to our strengths which we’ve executed quite well in previous weeks.”
Lions – 15 Quan Horn, 14 Rabz Maxwane, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Emmanuel Tshituka, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Francke Horn, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 PJ Botha, 1 Sti Sithole.
Subs: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 JP Smith, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Ruan Venter, 20 Sibusiso Sangweni, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manuel Rass, 23 Tiaan Swanepoel.