Lions squad not finalised

2011-02-10 22:38

Pieter Jordaan

Johannesburg – The remaining places in the Lions’ Super Rugby squad must be filled in Port Elizabeth on Friday night when they play the EP Kings in their final warm-up game.

Lions coach John Mitchell admits that he is still examining two or three positions before settling on his final squad of 30. That is why the Lions are not travelling to PE with their strongest side.

The first-choice side beat Tucuman at a canter in Johannesburg on Wednesday night and will now start preparations in all earnest for next Saturday’s big Super Rugby kick-off against the Bulls.

“We feel we are progressing well. Everybody is physically ready. Sometimes you lose key players to injury in the pre-season, but that was not the case with us,” said Mitchell.

Only backline player Deon van Rensburg (cracked cheekbone) will miss the start of the Super Rugby competition.

Mitchell is full of praise for Wayne Taylor (conditioning), Rob Collins (team doctor) and David Leicher (physiotherapist) for the manner in which they have managed to get certain players ready for the start of the 2011 season.

“The team will rest for three days while the rest of the squad plays against EP – and then we will focus on the Bulls,” said Mitchell.

“The Bulls will offer us opportunities in the game, like any team will. We will have to play with a lot more intensity and accuracy than was the case against Tucuman.”

Mitchell has picked a few players that are relatively sure of their places in the Super Rugby squad for Friday night’s game.

They are forwards David Bulbring (lock and captain), Ross Geldenhuys (prop) and Michael Rhodes (flank).

Rhodes played for the Lions for the first time on Wednesday night following his move from the Sharks and rehabilitation from a knee injury.

At the back, wing Tonderai Chavhanga and centre Jannie Boshoff are expected to make the side, but one player that will be monitored closely is young centre Joubert Engelbrecht. Mitchell is still looking to boost his reserve strength at inside centre and the 21-year-old is showing a lot of promise.

The Lions coach is not afraid of throwing young players in at the deep end and the Lions team for Friday night’s match is full of greenhorns. It includes flyhalf Hein Cronjé (20) and 18-year-old substitutes Vian van der Watt (scrumhalf) and Ruan Venter (lock).

The teams are:

Southern Kings: Tiger Mangweni, Norman Nelson, Siyanda Grey, Wayne Stevens, Paul Perez, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Jacques Coetzee, Morné Hanekom, Mpho Mbiyozo, Darron Nell, Ross Kennedy, Rory Duncan (capt), André Schlechter, Hannes Franklin, Ronnie Uys Substitutes: Bobby Dyer, Jaco Engels, Barend Pieterse, Boetie Brits, Boela Abrahams, Monty Dumond, Milo Nqoro, Sphephelo Mayaba, Pumlani Nodikita, Lungelo Payi, Nolan Clark, Frank Herne, Matthew Tayler-Smith.

Lions: Marius Delport, Tonderai Chavhanga, Jannie Boshoff, Joubert Engelbrecht, Dusty Noble, Hein Cronjé, JP Joubert, Robert Kruger, Michael Rhodes, Jaco Kriel, David Bullbring (capt), Johan Snyman, Ross Geldenhuys, Edgar Marutlulle, Wayne Swart. Substitutes: Thurston Zimri, Caylib Oosthuizen, Jonathan Mokuena, Renaldo Bothma, Vian van der Watt, Maritz Hoffman, Ruan Dreyer, Ruan Venter, Dale Sabbagh.

Referee: Jaco Peyper.

Kick-off: 19h00.


  • BardofAvon - 2011-02-11 04:48

    Interesting. Let's hope that the Circus Lions can perform nicely for their ringmaster at Boswell Wilkie Park against the Incredibulls on the 19th.

  • Jurgens - 2011-02-11 07:01

    2011 is the year of the mighty ROAR!!!

  • Peanut - 2011-02-11 07:25

    @BardofAvon...Sounds to me that you are a bit scared of the Lions. We'll just have to wait and see what happens!

      BardofAvon - 2011-02-11 08:28

      Correct! Am going to the game - won't miss it for all the tea in China. Good to see the Lions are back!

  • Alwyn - 2011-02-11 07:27

    19th BULLS 23, KITTENS 9,,,Watch this space

      StefJo - 2011-02-11 07:39

      Koop maar genoeg brandewyn, jy gaan dit nodig hê volgende naweek!

      Alwyn - 2011-02-11 07:42

      Brandewyn vir die afterparty om die Bulls se oorwinning te vier ,dankie sal genoeg kry

      Mark - 2011-02-11 08:35

      Brandy for the wake (begrafnis) you mean.

      Alwyn - 2011-02-11 08:55

      Where were all the big mouthed Lion supporters last year? o Now i remember ,they were supporting the stormers in their failed attempt to dethrone the Bulls as Super 14 Champs,A Bulls supporter from 1977 through thick and thin

      Pieter - 2011-02-11 09:18

      lyk vir my jy het vergeet dat dit nie so lank terug was dat die bulls nie eers 'n wedstryd in die superrugby kompetisie kon wen nie. lions bo!!!

      CliffBradley - 2011-02-11 15:40

      StefJo : Brannas & Coke ( BLOU BULLE SE STAPEL DRANK )

  • - 2011-02-11 07:36

    Watch our for the Lions all the other S.A. sides, Mitchell know's waht he is doing and it shows with the great warm up matches. Alot of great upsets this year round. Go Lions , shut some mouths for a change.

      BardofAvon - 2011-02-12 00:12

      Yes, to watch the Lions trying to play us (the Bulls) in the Super 15 semi-final or final would be quite something.

  • Zandberg - 2011-02-11 09:28

    Well lets see. The Lions are sending its B team, just as the Bulls did. The Bulls were quick to state this after their loss. Now what if the Lions B team beats the Kings?

      Alwyn - 2011-02-11 09:39

      Then it still means F all because it only counts when the Super rugby starts

  • Alwyn - 2011-02-11 09:37

    Nie so lank terug nie? 1999 was die laaste keer wat hulle nie n wedstryd kon wen nie,2004 in semi verloor,2005 in semi verloor, 2006 vyfde,2007 no1,2008 sesde,2009n0 1,2010 no 1,as jy nie weet waarvan jy praat nie ,moet liewer nie kommentaar lewer nie,ek is n Bull maar sal enige span van SA sterkte toewens en die beste span moet wen,so gee eerder die Bulls die Krediet wat hulle toekom en hou op Kak praat,O ja en tel die Curriebeker titels vir die dekade ook by en dan sal jy besef dat die Bulls n moerse goeie span is,Dit deur Lojaliteit van hulle spelers en Toeskouers,Ellispark was laas jaar maar leeg gewees,waar was julle toe die span julle nodig gehad het? ,,vra maar net

      Alwyn - 2011-02-11 09:38

      Bedoel vir Pieter

      Anrie - 2011-02-11 12:39

      Die LIONS gan die BULLS met ten minste 10 punte klop. Ek sal weddenskappe vat dankie.

  • Midnic - 2011-02-11 10:49

    This team has a lot to prove, and that makes them very dangerous indeed! Their first encounter with the Bulls will be a very interesting! @Pieter: Mate that's like 10-11 years ago... give it a rest

  • smithruan835 - 2011-02-11 11:27

    EP EP EP!!!!!

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