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    Ackermann: No place for big egos at Lions

    2016-07-01 16:00

    Johannesburg - Lions coach Johan Ackermann says that some of his players' recent Springbok experience won't change anything for his side.

    The Lions had six players in the match-day 23 that played Ireland in the last game of the series, all of which were instrumental in the Springboks' series win.

    The former Bok lock believes his players' modesty supports the team dynamic that he has cultivated at the club.

    "We’ve fortunate here - the character of the players is such that they, hopefully, won’t allow that to happen, that being Boks won’t go to their heads," Ackermann told Independent Online.

    "They’re a humble bunch of players and the challenge for them is to remain that way. I trust they will still be hungry for success.

    "I think they realise that without hard work nothing is possible and I’m sure they’ll continue to work hard and put the effort in."

    "The players also know that Test caps mean nothing to me, I don’t care if someone has 50 caps or zero; if they don’t work hard on the field they won’t be selected."

    However, the Lions boss expects his Boks to bring their A-game now that they've been tested at the highest level.       

    "Every player on national duty would have experienced the pressure situations the Boks were in during the last month - and hopefully that rubs off on all the players, that those lessons and experiences can benefit the Lions now.”

    The Lions host the Sharks at Ellis Park on Saturday (17:10 kick-off).

    Newly-capped Springbok Jaco Kriel will lead the men from Johannesburg, while Ruan Ackermann will stand in at No 8 in the place of the injured Warren Whiteley.

    All the Lions’ other Boks will be on duty.

    Teams:

    Lions

    15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith

    Substitutes: 16 Armand Van Der Merwe,17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen,19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Sylvian Mahuza

    Sharks

    15. Odwa Ndungane, 14 JP Pietersen, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Garth April, 9. Michael Claassens, 8. Philip van der Walt, 7. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Keegan Daniel, 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Etienne Oosthuizen, 3. Lourens Adriaanse, 2. Franco Marais, 1. Tendai Mtawarira (captain)

    Substitutes: 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17. Thomas du Toit, 18. Coenie Oosthuizen, 19. Ruan Botha, 20. Tera Mtembu, 21. Stefan Ungerer, 22. Rhyno Smith, 23. S'bura Sithole

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