A choice of Bok 10s for Lions
Brenden Nel - SuperSport
Johannesburg - It’s not often that you can say the Lions have a choice between two Springboks, but coach Johan Ackermann will have to decide which backline general will be his first choice when the team faces the Melbourne Rebels in their Vodacom Super Rugby match at Ellis Park on Friday.
According to the supersport.com website, Marnitz Boshoff, this season’s points machine, was rewarded with a Springbok cap against Scotland last week and has consistently been preferred to Elton Jantjies all season but with both available, Ackermann faces a quandary.
Jantjies is unlikely to play anywhere else but 10, but Boshoff has already been played at 15 and could well fulfil that same role this week against the Rebels when he takes the field.
It would give the Lions a few more options when they face the Australians and allow Ackermann to accommodate both players in a starting line-up for their second last game of the tournament.
The other pleasant surprise for the Lions is the availability of their former captain Franco van der Merwe, whose ankle injury has healed sufficiently that he can play again for his team.
Van der Merwe spoke earlier of his desire to make a last few appearances for the Lions before heading to Ulster and this will give him the opportunity to say goodbye on his terms, something every player wants.
Ackermann will name the team later on Tuesday, but has already been boosted by the return from injury of prop Julian Redelinghuys and the backline quartet of Michael Bondesio, Anthony Volminck, Andries Coetzee and Stefan Watermeyer for the game.
The Lions are still smiling after their exceptional demolition of the Bulls in their last game, and Ackermann will want to keep the momentum going, especially with one eye on the upcoming Absa Currie Cup.