Ross Cronjé will start at scrumhalf as one of two changes to the Lions starting lineup for Saturday's match against the Sharks in Durban.
The 26-year-old earns his first start after being sidelined by a facial injury he sustained in the Lions' pre-season warm-up against the Bulls in Polokwane. His inclusion in the run-on team sees Faf de Klerk drop to the bench, with Dillon Smit missing out on selection altogether.
In the only other change to the team, coach Johann Ackermann has drafted youngster Rohan Janse van Rensburg into the inside centre position ahead of Howard Mnisi, who joins De Klerk on the reserves bench.
Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira/Lourens Erasmus, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.
Subs: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Jaco van der Walt, 23 Howard Mnisi.
Photo: Johan Rynners/Gallo Images