Centres Matt More and Henco van Wyk will start for the Lions in Saturday’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash against Dragons in Wales.
Skipper Burger Odendaal was a notable absentee from the Lions’ 28-man squad for their final URC match of the season ahead of his move to English side Wasps, and his centre partner Wandisile Simelane, reportedly close to joining the Vodacom Bulls, was ruled out due to illness.
Loose forward Jarod Cairns and tighthead prop Asenathi Ntlabakanye are set to feature from the bench, as lock Reinhard Nothnagel wears the captain’s armband with the Joburgers looking to finish on a high in Newport.
Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen said: “As mentioned last week, it gives us an opportunity as a franchise to cast our eye towards the future, and we believe that this group will form part of that core.
“There’ll be a few guys in the match 23 who will be relishing the opportunity to make a name for themselves against international opposition.
“In saying that, Dragons will be a tough outfit to play at a vibrant Rodney Parade. We’ve planned and trained well this week so the guys we’ll be up for it come Saturday.”
Lions – 15 Quan Horn, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Henco van Wyk, 12 Matt More, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel (c), 4 Ruan Venter, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 JP Smith
Subs: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Ruben Schoeman, 20 Jarod Cairns, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manuel Rass, 23 Tiaan Swanepoel.