The Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has announced his team to take on the Sharks in a Super Rugby warm up game at Ellis Park on Friday evening.
Ackermann has opted to make wholesale changes to the side that narrowly beat the Kings last weekend.
Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has announced a 26-man side to take on The Sharks at Ellis Park this Friday evening.
Ackermann has made wholesale changes to his team that beat the Southern Kings 12-19 in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.
He believes that the match will be the ideal opportunity to mix youth and experience, and will act as a learning curve for those that have not yet come into contact with a side as experienced as The Sharks’.
“Of course it is important for us to avoid further injuries so we have decided to rest some of our players,” Ackermann shared.
“However, I also believe Friday’s game will give some of our young players an opportunity to express themselves and gain some valuable experience. It will be a chance for them to put their hands up for the future.”
In the forwards, Jacques van Rooyen (loosehead), Warwick Tecklenburg (flank) and Willie Britz (eighthman) move up from the bench into the starting XV.
Bees Roux, Lourens Erasmus, Martin Muller and Ruaan Lerm have also been drafted in after solid performances during their Vodacom Cup warm-up game against the Blue Bulls in Polokwane, last Saturday.
Meanwhile, in the backline, Willie du Plessis moves into the starting line-up at flyhalf as Faf de Klerk comes in at scrumhalf. Alwyn Hollenbach and Stokkies Hanekom have been brought in in the midfield, while Deon van Rensburg will start at right wing. Coenie van Wyk comes in at fullback after Andries Coetzee suffered a knee injury during the game against the Southern Kings.
Alwyn Hollenbach will captain the side.
The match kicks off at 19:00.
Lions: 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach (Captain), 11 Chrysander Botha, 10 Wilie du Plessis, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Ruaan Lerm, 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Lourens Erasmus, 3 Bees Roux, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Corne Fourie, 19 Stephan Vermeulen, 20 Hugo Kloppers, 21 MB Lusaseni, 22 Stephan de Witt, 23 Ross Cronje, 24 JW Jonker, 25 Ruan Combrinck, 26 Deon Helberg.
It is interesting to note that Ackermann has opted to leave out a numner of players from the 26-man squad who would in all likelihood be considered as certain starters in the Lions Super Rugby starting line up.
These include the captain Warren Whiteley, scrumhalf Michael Bondesio, veteran lock Franco van der Merwe and loose forwards Derick Minnie and Jaco Kriel.
This would appear to be a somewhat experimental side, which Ackerman hopes will show him where his depth within his greater squad lies and also prevent possible injuries to players that he will be counting on to carry much of the load in the upcoming Super Rugby campaign.