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Schalk van der Merwe

Schalk van der MerweThe Emirates Lions could well have lost 1 of their brightest stars as former Springbok coach Jake White snapped up prop Schalk van der Merwe to join him at Montpellier.

Van der Merwe – who is affectionately known as “hond” to his peers and is known for his strong scrumming abilities, has according to French sources signed a 2 year deal with the club and will join them after the end of the season.

It has emerged that Montpellier actually announced the deal 2 months ago, but ironically named Marcel van der Merwe as the player they signed, something the Springbok namesake vehemently denied at the time.

It seemed that somehow the French club announced the wrong prop, but considering both played for the Toyota Cheetahs, it is understandable.

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Emirates LionsEmirates Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has named his team to take on the Melbourne Rebels in his side’s penultimate Vodacom Super Rugby tour match on Friday.

Ackermann has opted to rotate several players for the match.

In the forwards, Schalk van der Merwe, Armand van der Merwe and Ruan Dreyer will make up the front row. Robert Kruger will start at lock, while Derick Minnie has also been promoted to the starting line-up at flank.

Meanwhile, in the backline, Faf de Klerk will start at scrumhalf with Marnitz Boshoff linking up with him at flyhalf. Courtnall Skosan fills the left wing berth, shifting Sampie Mastriet to right wing.

Elton Jantjies will start at inside centre and Jaco van der Walt will start at fullback for the match.

Kick-off is at 10:40 SA Time on Friday.

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Emirates LionsIn the first discussions of the Super Rugby squad contenders for 2015 (in December), we discuss 2 positions in seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) and also seperate the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.

That means 10 Super Rugby Articles to start off with, to be done as time allows me to do, considering one has to have some holidays and some off time too, before the new year becomes a burden on the batteries again.

The basic idea is to discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS in the Lions 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

The Emirates Lions are much in the same position as the Vodacom Bulls and Cell C Sharks, with excellent props serving their cause for 2015, with recent Springbok tourists at tighthead, Julian Redelinghuys and Ruan Dreyer both standout tighthead props and Schalk van der Merwe easily seeing off all comers in 2014, no matter who they were and what their pedigrees were.

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LionsIn the first week of discussion of Super Rugby squad contenders for 2014 (23 to 29 December), we will discuss 2 positions in seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) and also seperate the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.

That means 10 Super Rugby Articles every week from now on.

The basic idea is to discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

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

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A year has come and gone, and now we face a “rugby drought” until Super 15 kicks off mid February 2013. It is the  “dry season” as far as rugby news goes, so am sure most of us are getting withdrawl symptoms. Hopefully this will solicit some debate or scorn.

I list the possible contenders for props in the Cheetahs 2013 Super Rugby group. The Cheetahs seem to have a penchant for grooming young props, with most of the contenders still puppies as far as props go.

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