Lions in risky Elton gambit
Elton Jantjies (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Lions coach Johan Ackermann’s biggest decision ahead of his teams’ promotion-relegation playoff was his selection at flyhalf.
The safer option for Ackermann would have been to pick Marnitz Boshoff, who has settled as part of the Lions’ backline combination in the past couple of months, but Ackermann instead opted for Elton Jantjies who hasn’t been at his best during his season on-loan for the Stormers, but who has proved to be a match winner for the Lions in the past.
The Lions have included all of their on-loan players in the starting line-up, including Lock Franco van der Merwe (Sharks), hooker Martin Bezuidenhout and flyhalf Elton Jantjies (both Stormers).
The Lions will be without the services of the injured Alwyn Hollenbach, as well as Lionel Mapoe and Jaco Taute who suffered injury while out on loan to the Bulls and Stormers respectively, whilst Callie Visagie will remains at the Bulls until the conclusion of their Super Rugby campaign.
The Lions will play the first of the two promotion-relegation matches against the Kings at the Nelson Mandela Stadium on Friday, July 26 (kick-off at 19:10).
15. SP Marais, 11. Marcello Sampson, 13. Ronnie Cooke (Vice Captain), 12. Shane Gates, 14. Hadleigh Parkes, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Shaun Venter, 8. Jacques Engelbrecht, 7. Wimpie van der Walt, 6. Cornell du Preez, 5. David Bulbring, 4. Darron Nell (Captain), 3. Kevin Buys, 2. Bandise Maku, 1. Schalk Ferreira
16. Charl du Plessis, 17. Hannes Franklin, 18. Steven Sykes, 19. Devin Oosthuizen, 20. Nicolas Vergallo, 21. George Whitehead, 22. Waylon Murray
15. Ruan Combrinck, 14. Deon van Rensburg, 13. Stokkies Hanekom, 12. Dylan des Fountain, 11. Anthony Volmink, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Michael Bondesio, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Derrick Minnie, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Hendrik Roodt, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Martin Bezuidenhout, 1. JC Janse van Rensburg
Substitutes: Robbie Coetzee, Ruan Dreyer, Willie Britz, Warwick Tecklenburg, Ross Cronje, Marnitz Boshoff, Chrysander Botha