De Klerk leads Lions' Bok army
Cape Town - The Lions will field no less than seven current Springboks in the starting line-up when they host the Sharks at Ellis Park in a Super Rugby clash on Saturday.
Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk, Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert and Julian Redelinghuys all played against Ireland in the third Test at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last weekend.
Warren Whiteley also started that match, but he has since been ruled out for six weeks with a shoulder injury.
Sharks coach Gary Gold believes that Lions will be oozing confidence after their integral part in the Boks' series revival against Ireland.
Whiteley and Combrinck were immense off the bench for the Boks in the second Test while De Klerk had the game of his life for the Boks in the series decider.
De Klerk, in particular, has caught the attention of Sharks scrumhalf Michael Claasens.
"He’s a very good player … very talented," Claasens said of De Klerk.
"He was probably
one of the best players for the Boks now (against ireland), if not the best.
"He’s had an awesome
season and as a player you always look forward to testing yourself against the
best and I’m looking forward to playing against him."
The De Klerk/Jantjies combination means that the Lions boast the current Springbok half-back pairing, which presents young Sharks flyhalf Garth April with a stern test on Saturday.
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 (captain), 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
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