The Lions will commence their Currie Cup campaign under the leadership of captain Francke Horn when they take on the Pumas at Mbombela Stadium on Friday evening.
Lions head coach, Ivan ‘Cash’ van Rooyen, unveiled fit-again Horn as the captain of a Currie Cup side balancing experience with youth.
Exciting youngsters like Morne Brandon, Banele Mthenjane, Ruhan Straeuli, Emmanuel Tshituka and Aidynn Cupido will all look to make their debuts from the bench, supported by veterans EW Viljoen, Jamba Ulengo, Fred Zeilinga and Willem Alberts.
The match kicks off at 7pm.
“We look forward to an exciting Currie Cup season, where we will play matches with very short turn-around times,” Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli said referring to the team’s next match, against Western Province at Ellis Park on Wednesday.
Lions – 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Rabz Maxwane; 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Francke Horn (c), 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 PJ Botha, 1 Nathan McBeth.
Subs: 16 Morne Brandon, 17 Banele Mthenjane, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Ruhan Straeuli, 20 Emmanuel Tshituka, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Aidynn Cupido, 23 Duncan Matthews.
Pumas – 15 Devon Williams, 14 Tapiwa Mafura, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Eddie Fouche, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Phumzile Maqondwana, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren, 4 Darrien Landsberg, 3 Marne Coetzee, 2 Simon Westraadt, 1 Corne Fourie.
Subs: 16 Eduan Swart, 17 Dewald Maritz, 18 Ig Prinsloo, 19 Brandon Valentyn, 20 Daniel Maartens, 21 Ginter Smuts, 22 Matt More, 23 Jade Stighling.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images