In-form Emmanuel Tshituka will start for the struggling Lions in the Currie Cup against the unbeaten Free State Cheetahs at Ellis Park on Friday.
The abrasive loose forward is one of seven players named in the match-day 23 who featured in Saturday’s win over Benetton in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
JP Smith starts at loosehead prop, alongside hooker Jaco Visagie, while Sibusiso Sangweni will link up with Tshituka in the back row.
Stean Pienaar and Tiaan Swanepoel form a new-look back three with Boldwin Hansen, Manuel Rass partners former Baby Bok Henco van Wyk in midfield, with new signing Sanele Nohamba set to make his debut off the bench.
A last-minute defeat by Griquas two weeks ago left the Lions still winless and rooted to the bottom of the standings.
“We are expecting a tough game against the Cheetahs. It’s the business end of the competition for them and in addition to that, they are the in-form team of the competition. The challenge for us is to step up against a quality outfit,” said coach Mziwakhe Nkosi.
“The theme this week for us was to reflect on our performance against the Griquas, which we believe was a good showing but unfortunately lost it at the death.
“If we can draw positives from that game, I feel we’ll give ourselves a chance to display what we can achieve.”
Lions – 15 Tiaan Swanepoel, 14 Boldwin Hansen, 13 Henco van Wyk, 12 Manuel Rass, 11 Stean Pienaar, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Andre Warner (c), 8 Jarod Cairns, 7 Emmanuel Tshituka, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Cal Smid, 4 Lunga Ncube, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 JP Smith.
Subs: 16 Morne Brandon, 17 Heiko Pohlmann, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Junior White, 20 Lindo Ncusane, 21, Sanele Nohamba, 22 Luke Rossouw, 23 Ilunga Mukendi.