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Lionel Mapoe

Emirates LionsEmirates Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has named his team to face the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday evening.

Ackermann has opted to rotate several players for this local derby.

In the forwards, Ackermann has chosen to start Jacques van Rooyen and Ruan Dreyer in the front row. Andries Ferreira will partner with Martin Muller in the lock pairing, while Warwick Tecklenburg returns to the starting side at flank.

In the backline, Courtnall Skosan returns to start at left wing which results in Ruan Combrinck shifting back to right wing. Howard Mnisi comes into the starting side and links up with Lionel Mapoe in the midfield, as Mapoe shifts back to outside centre.

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Faf de Klerk

Faf de Klerk

Elton Jantjies

Elton Jantjies

Emirates Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has announced his team to face the Aquis Brumbies at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday afternoon.

Ackermann has made 2 changes to the forwards for the encounter, as Martin Muller will start at lock and Robert Kruger moves into the starting lineup at flank.

The backline sees 3 personnel changes with Faf de Klerk starting at scrumhalf, Elton Jantjies returning to the starting flyhalf berth and Lionel Mapoe, having fully recovered from injury, starting at right wing. As a result, Ruan Combrinck will shift to left wing for the match.

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Lionel Mapoe

Lionel Mapoe

The high-flying Emirates Lions are running the risk of being without one of their star players, Springbok training squad member Lionel Mapoe.

Mapoe is struggling with a knee injury and is in a race against time to be fit for his team’s trans-Jukskei Super Rugby derby with the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann said that for the most part his team suffered only “bumps and bruises” in their 34 / 29 win over the Cheetahs last week.

However, the centre, Mapoe, remains a concern.

Ackermann said they will give him till Thursday’s team announcement before making a call on his availability.

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Lionel MapoeLions coach Johan Ackermann says centre Lionel Mapoe would be a valuable asset to the Springboks at the Rugby World Cup later this year.

The midfielder has been on song for the Lions in Super Rugby this year and his form has been recognised by Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, who included him in both Bok training squads named over the weekend.

“If you’re looking for an outside centre with X-factor, then Lionel is definitely your man,” said Ackermann.

“In terms of enterprise, you don’t need to look any further than him and Juan de Jongh (Stormers centre) as your candidates for the No 13 jersey. Lionel’s performances in this (2015) Super Rugby competition have been outstanding and it’s notable how hard he’s worked on his conditioning.

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Lionel Mapoe

Lionel Mapoe

Golden Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has named his 22-man side to front Western Province in a Currie Cup clash at Ellis Park on Saturday.

In the backline, Lionel Mapoe shifts to outside centre with Stokkies Hanekom moving into the inside centre berth, while Courtnall Skosan has been recalled to the starting side at left wing.

Ricky Schroeder will start at scrumhalf in the place of Ross Cronje, who is ruled out for up to three weeks with a knee injury.

Up front, Willie Britz will start at No 8 in place of Derick Minnie.

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Lionel MapoeCourtnall SkosanDerick MinnieLionsThe Lions medical staff have released an injury update, following the Vodacom Super Rugby outfit’s 41-13 loss to the Waratahs in Sydney on Sunday.

Unfortunately utility backs Lionel Mapoe (MCL), Courtnall Skosan (Hamstring) and forward Derick Minnie (concussion) have returned to South Africa this morning. They will undergo further scans and tests upon their arrival.

 

Coenie van Wyk and Alwyn Hollenbach departs for Perth on Monday evening in order to provide cover.

The team is still extremely positive and will be hungry to get their first win while on tour, against the Force on Saturday.

LionsThis is the 7th in the series of the Lions Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for MIDFIELD in the Lions 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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ContractIt is the time of the year I always dread the most. This is the time where every Player Agent licks his lips and rubs his grubby little hands at the prospect of selling his wares to the highest bidder, with no regard to the welfare of the rugby of any Player, Country, Club, Union or Franchise.

It is the time of the year that the greedy pigs grin!

It is reported that the Stormers are chasing the signature of the mercenary called Lionel Mapoe, who’s been about everywhere now, Cheetahs, Sharks, Lions, Bulls… and possibly now heading for his 5th SA Super Rugby Franchise.

The Western Force announced today that they have signed 2 more South Africans, WP’s Marcel Brache and Chris Heiberg.

The Bulls seem to be investing, or rather re-investing in another ton of Young Guns, to replace the loss of 8 Springboks in one heap but seemingly giving no heed to the warning sirens that seriously flawed players like Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger now seem to be their most experienced players! The Blue Bulls have re-signed players like Paul Willemse (lock) and Under 20 SA star, Jacques du Plessis (looseforward) as well as a host of others… and the name Lood de Jager jumped at me, with me initially thinking that it might be the Cheetahs Super Rugby lock but alas it is the junior Blue Bulls centre who has suffered quite an injury run. See the details below on the rest of the Blue Bulls signings. In the last 3 years the Bulls have lost the services of 18 Senior Springbok players, whilst purchasing only 4 senior players from elsewhere.

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