Lions rest big guns

Golden Lions coach Johan Ackermann has made 13 changes to his side for their final round-robin match against Griquas in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The Lions are assured of a home semi-final after securing top spot on the Currie Cup log a fortnight ago.

In a total overhaul of the side that pounded Western Province 62-32 last week, only loosehead prop Dylan Smith and captain Warren Whiteley have been retained in the starting lineup, while flanker Kwagga Smith as well as wing Sampie Mastriet are promoted from the bench to the run-on XV.

The Van der Walt brothers, Jaco and Gerdus, will start at flyhalf and inside centre respectively. The back three are formed by Vainon Willis, Mastriet and Mark Richards while Jacques Nel gets the nod at outside centre. Ricky Schroeder comes in at scrumhalf.

Up front, hooker Robbie Coetzee returns from a two-week suspension to scrum down with props Smith and Pieter Scholtz. Martin Muller failed a late fitness test and is replaced Bobby de Wee, who'll partner MB Lusaseni in the second row. Ruaan Lerm binds on the side of the scrum, and completes the back row with Whiteley and Smith. 

Golden Lions – 15 Vainon Willis, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Gerdus van der Walt, 11 Mark Richards, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ricky Schroeder, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Ruaan Lerm, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Bobby de Wee, 4 MB Lusaseni, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Dylan Smith.
Subs: 16 Mark Pretorius, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Fabian Booysen, 19 Stephan de Witt, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 22 Salom Gavor.

Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

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