Lions chop and change for Sharks
Lions coach Johan Ackermann has rung the changes to his side for Friday's pre-season clash with the Sharks in Johannesburg.
After last weekend's 19-12 victory over the Kings in Port Elizabeth, Ackermann believes this weekend's match will be the ideal opportunity to mix youth and experience, and will act as a learning curve for the players who 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,” he told the Lions' official website.
“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.”
Up front, Jacques van Rooyen (prop), Warwick Tecklenburg (flank) and Willie Britz (number eight) are promoted from the replacements bench into the starting XV.
Locks Lourens Erasmus and Martin Muller, Bees Roux (prop), and Ruaan Lerm (flank) have also been drafted in after solid performances during last weekend's Vodacom Cup warm-up game against the Blue Bulls in Polokwane.
Amongst the backs, Willie du Plessis moves into the run-on side at flyhalf while Faf de Klerk starts at scrum-half. Alwyn Hollenbach, who captains the side, and Stokkies Hanekom are the centre pairing, while Deon van Rensburg will start at right wing.
Coenie van Wykis at full-back after Andries Coetzee suffered a knee injury during the game against the Kings.
Lions: 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Deon van Rensburg , 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach (c), 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.