Pat adds Lions front row bite
Johannesburg -The return of Pat Cilliers to the Lions front row will add extra bite before Saturday’s Super Rugby clash against the Stormers, but some adjustment to the team is necessary.
John Mitchell and his coaching staff will only announce the team that will take on the Capetonians at Coca-Cola Park on Thursday hoping to give injured players time to recover.
Cilliers’s return after a stomach bug will ease the Lions’ crisis at prop, but several cracks in the backline need to be filled after injuries to Elton Jantjies and Alwyn Hollenbach.
Hollenbach’s thigh injury is not believed to be serious, but Jantjies’s foot injury might keep him on the sidelines for several weeks.
The logical solution could be to select Butch James at flyhalf and Doppies la Grange at inside centre with a vacancy then opening up at outside centre.
With the obvious choice for the position, Lionel Mapoe, out injured, wing Deon van Rensburg and fullback Jaco Taute could be played at No 13 while James Kamana could start at wing or fullback.
Another solution could be to play James as La Grange’s partner at centre with the youngster Andries Coetzee filling in at flyhalf.
Aside from his selection worries, John Mitchell also has to contend with history.
Since the Lions’ inception as a franchise in 2006 the Johannesburg outfit have not won against the Stormers and have lost seven times.