Veteran loose forward Willem Alberts will make his first start of the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby season when the Lions face the Rebels in Melbourne on Saturday.
The Lions’ depth at loose forward is set to be further tested after it was confirmed that Vincent Tshituka would need surgery on his ankle.
Flank Vincent Tshituka will return to South Africa after sustaining an ankle sprain in the Lions’ match against the Waratahs on Friday.
Dylan Smith and Vincent Tshituka have both put pen to paper on contract extensions with the Lions, the union announced on Thursday.
Kwagga Smith has been ruled out for six weeks with a groin injury, while another three Lions players have also been sidelined.