Coach Ivan van Rooyen has named a new-look match 23 for the Lions third round Vodacom United Rugby Championship match against Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium on Saturday.
Van Rooyen had to make several injury-enforced changes to his side, most notably the selection of EW Viljoen at flyhalf.
Viljoen, who joined the Lions after a five-season stay at Western Province and one season with Leicester Tigers, will start at No 10 as a result of injuries to both Jordan Hendrikse and Eddie Fouche.
Also at the back, Stean Pienaar, Divan Rossouw and centre, Manuel Rass will make their URC starting debuts.
Up front, Jannie du Plessis and Sti Sithole start at tighthead and loosehead respectively, with Ruhan Straeuli packing down at the back of the scrum.
“Losing both Jordan and Eddie is obviously a massive blow for us, meaning we had to make a few adjustments as we prepare for Saturday,” said Van Rooyen.
“With the Covid-19 regulations it’s been quite a challenge, however we are doing our best to cope with the situation. Hopefully now with the relaxation of the travel ban to the UK, in consultation with URC, we can get a replacement to join the squad as soon as possible.”
Van Rooyen went on to add that this would be an ideal opportunity for other members of the squad to take their chance.
“It also provides a few guys in the squad with an opportunity to showcase their talent against quality opposition in the URC,” he concluded.
The match kicks off at 4.05pm (SA time).
Lions – 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 EW Viljoen, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Ruhan Straeuli, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Pieter Janse van Vuren, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole.
Subs: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Morgan Naude, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Sibusiso Sangweni, 21 Morne van den Berg, 22 Matt More, 23 Wandisile Simelane.
Emirates Lions head coach, Ivan van Rooyen and captain, Burger Odendaal spoke to the media from Glasgow ahead of their clash against the Glasgow Warriors.
— Emirates Lions (@LionsRugbyCo) October 8, 2021
Photo: Gallo Images