Western Province have been boosted by the inclusion of some experience for their Currie Cup encounter with the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Loosehead prop Ali Vermaak, lock Adre Smith and loose forward Junior Pokomela come into the starting forward pack, having all featured for the Stormers in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship this year.
Fit-again centre Rikus Pretorius makes his return on the replacements bench after recovering from a concussion that sidelined him for the past few weeks.
In the backline, Ebenezer Tshimanga will savour his first start on the wing, after making his senior Western Province debut in the win over the Pumas in Mbombela.
Western Province head coach Jerome Paarwater said that he is looking forward to seeing what the incoming players can add in Johannesburg.
“It is great to have some experience coming in for this game against what will be a motivated Sigma Lions side.
“We know that we will have to be at our best if we are to make it another win away from home, so we will need full focus for 80 minutes,” he said.
Western Province – 15 Tristan Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Cornel Smit, 11 Ebenezer Tshimanga, 10 Timothy Swiel, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Junior Pokomela, 7 Marcel Theunissen, 6 Nama Xaba (c), 5 Adre Smith, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 Jacques van Zyl, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Subs: 16 HP van Schoor, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Ben-Jason Dixon, 20 Keke Morabe, 21 Thomas Bursey, 22 Mnombo Zwelendaba, 23 Rikus Pretorius.
Photo: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images