Johannesburg - Rugby World Cup prop CJ van der Linde has been selected for the Golden
Lions’ starting side for their Absa Currie Cup semi-final against Western
Province on Saturday, and his team-mate in New Zealand, Butch James, has
been announced as a replacement for the match at Coca-Cola Park.
While the inclusion in the match-22 of James, who has previous playing
and training experience with the Lions, was expected the selection of
Van der Linde - a recent acquisition from Western Province without much
training time with the Lions - would surprise some.
His presence is, however, a blessing for Lions coach John Mitchell.
The very experienced and versatile prop, who can play either side of the
scrum, comes in for stalwart Lions loosehead JC Janse van Rensburg who
has a hamstring problem.
The rest of the side is as expected, with the many changes from last
weekend’s losing side against the Sharks not surprising after Mitchell
gave some of his borderline players a run in Durban to ensure that they
have game time behind them should they be required for the play-offs.
There are eight players who did not start against the Sharks in the
starting side for Saturday and there is also the switch of Michael
Rhodes, who has lately been picked as lock for the Lions. He moves back
to flank after the return of Wikus van Heerden who was side-lined with a
knee injury and only returned against the Sharks. Van Heerden will
partner returning Franco van der Merwe in the second row.
Rhodes will play at No 7 with Derick Minnie taking over the fetching
role from Cobus Grobbelaar, who is still troubled by the rib injury
sustained when he scored a try against the Free State Cheetahs three
weeks ago in a drawn league fixture. Grobbelaar has been bracketed on
the bench with Jaco Kriel.
15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Doppies
la Grange, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9
Michael Bondesio, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Michael Rhodes, 6
Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Patric
Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 CJ Van der Linde
Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Warren Whiteley, 19 Cobus
Grobbelaar/Jaco Kriel, 20 Butch James, 21 Dylan Des Fountain, 22 James
15 Gio Aplon, 14 JJ
Engelbrecht, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean De Villiers,
11 Bryan Habana, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nick Koster, 7
Siya Kolisi, 6 Schalk Burger (captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Adriaan
Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 JC Kritzinger
Substitutes: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Tertius
Daniller, 19 Pieter Louw, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22