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    Last hurrah for Lions' Franco

    2014-07-01 12:22
    Franco van der Merwe (Gallo Images)
    Cape Town - Springbok lock Franco van der Merwe has returned for the Lions earlier than expected.

    The 31-year-old was earlier this year ruled out for six months with an ankle injury and was not expected to feature for the remainder of the Super Rugby competition.

    However, he has recovered after only three months out and has been included for the Lions' penultimate Super Rugby game against the Rebels in Johannesburg on Friday (19:10 kick-off).

    The next two weeks will give Van der Merwe a chance to feature for the Lions for a last time before he heads off to play for Ulster in Ireland.

    Coach Johan Ackermann opted largely for consistency when naming his team on Tuesday, selecting the same front row and loose trio that faced the Bulls before the June Test break.

    The only change in the forwards sees Van der Merwe return, while in the backline Anthony Volmink will start at left wing, with Deon van Rensburg covering the right wing berth.

    The Lions' last game will be at home to the Cheetahs on July 12.

    Teams:

    Lions:

    15. Coenie van Wyk, 14. Deon van Rensburg, 13. Stokkies Hanekom, 12. Alwyn Hollenbach, 11. Anthony Volmink, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Warren Whiteley ,7. Warwick Tecklenburg, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Franco Mostert, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Schalk van der Merwe

    Substitutes: 16. Armand van der Merwe, 17. Jacques van Rooyen/Corne Fourie, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. Willie Britz, 20. Derick Minnie, 21. Faf de Klerk, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Lionel Mapoe

    Rebels:

    TBA

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