Lions seek home comforts

    2015-05-07 22:09

    Johannesburg - Lions coach Johan Ackermann has welcomed the earlier kick-off when they face the Highlanders in their Super Rugby encounter in Johannesburg on Saturday.

    The match is scheduled to take place at 15:00 at Ellis Park.

    "It’s great to be back at home with a 15h00 kick-off," expressed Ackermann.

    "The Highlanders game will be a nice challenge and I believe a lot of their players will make the All Blacks side."

    Ackermann's team have made two changes upfront to the team which narrowly lost to the Bulls at Loftus Versveld last week with Schalk van der Merwe and Robbie Coetzee starting at prop an hooker respectively.

    As a result, Armand van der Merwe and Jacques van Rooyen are on the bench.

     In the backline, Ross Cronje will start at scrumhalf and will link up with Marnitz Boshoff, who shifts to from fullback to flyhalf for this game.

    Courtnall Skosan returns at left wing, Andries Coetzee moves back to fullback and Alwyn Hollenbach will start at inside centre.

    Interestingly, the Lions have trailed at half-time in seven of their last eight outings, but went on to win six of these games.

    However, skipper Warren Whiteley will be hoping to lead the side to a faster start to the match to avoid back-to-back defeats to the men from Otago for the first time.

    "We still want to improve in a lot of areas, such as the scrums and line-outs, where we’re not consistent enough.

    "The way in which we start this weekend against the Highlanders will also be very important, because we didn’t get a good start last weekend against the Bulls," said Whiteley.



    15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Ruan Combrinck, 13. Harold Vorster, 12. Alwyn Hollenbach, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9.  Ross Cronje, 8.  Warren Whiteley (captain), 7. Warwick Tecklenburg, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Andries Ferreira, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Schalk van der Merwe

    Substitutes: 16. Akker van der Merwe, 17. Jacques van Rooyen, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. Robert Kruger, 20. Ruaan Lerm, 21. Faf de Klerk, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Howard Mnisi


    15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kane Hames

    Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Brendon Edmonds, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Elliott Dixon, 20 John Hardie, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Jason Emery

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