Emirates 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.
This is the third 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 LOCKS in the Lions 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotskè is facing a possible second row crisis, as both his preferred starting locks are unavailable to start the season. Martin Muller who missed most of 2012, has injured his groin, and will be out for at least 3 months. That effectively rules him out for the bulk of the tournament. Andries Ferreira is still recovering from his knee injury, and will miss the opening match versus the Sharks, as well as the initial overseas leg.
Looking at the tall timber, in what has been a troublesome position for the Cheetahs in seasons past. With stalwarts like Barend Pieterse, Rory Duncan, Corniel van Zyl, Flip van der Merwe, David de Villiers , Nico Breedt, and Wilhelm Steenkamp all leaving a void, so a new generation of locks has to be nurtured. With the more recent departures of George Earle, and Izak van der Westhuizens’s departure for colder pastures, a perception could exist, that the Cheetah class of 2013 could struggle in the second row. Well, maybe not!
Hallo all rugby addicts! It’s good to see the blogging intensifying, as prep for the 2012 Super 15 has started in earnest at all the franchises. Rassie’s antics has stolen my thunder momentarily, but I’M BACK!
Anyway, back to my series of articles on contenders for the Cheetahs 2012 Super squad. Tall Timber is next. An area where the Cheetahs have not had dominance since David de Villiers’ departure. We have had some good locks, guys like Braam Els, Flippie, Rory Duncan, and Barend Pieterse, but we need some staunch players to really get the powerful Cheetahs scrum to become destroyers!
The Stormers could suffer a massive blow ahead of their Super Rugby clash against the Cheetahs as Dewaldt Duvenhage is now in doubt for the match.