Lions change four for clash with Sharks in Durban

Lions coach Ivan Van Rooyen has made four changes to the side that lost 22-9 to the Bulls in the opening round of the Rainbow Cup SA ahead of the team’s trip to Durban.

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After an abrasive first outing, the Lions had to make four injury-enforced changes. Tiaan Swanepoel is replaced in the starting lineup by EW Viljoen, who played the majority of the match against the Bulls at fullback.

On the right wing, Stean Pienaar’s injury bring Rabs Maxwane into the fold as the only other backline change.

Reinhard Nothnagel comes in at lock in place of the injured Wilhelm van der Sluys. Meanwhile, utility back Morne van den Berg replaces Sibusiso Sangweni on the bench as the Lions revert to a conventional five-three split between forwards and backs.

In the back row, the young loose trio of Francke Horn, Vincent Tshituka and MJ Pelser continue after an encouraging display last week.

In the backline, Dan Kriel retains the captaincy at inside centre and Fred Zelinga continues in the No 10 shirt.

There are a few players returning to the bench, including Jordan Hendrickse (brother of Jaden) who has been recalled from a South Africa U20 alignment camp. Other returnees include Burger Odendaal and Jaco Visagie.

Sharks – 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (c), 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Ox Nche.

Subs: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Jaden Hendrikse, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Werner Kok.

Lions – 15 EW Viljoen; 14 Rabz Maxwane, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan; 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Andre Warner; 8 Francke Horn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 MJ Pelser; 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 PJ Botha, 1 Sti Sithole.

Subs: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Len Massyn, 20 Emmanuel Tshituka, 21 Morné van den Berg, 22 Jordan Hendrikse, 23 Burger Odendaal.