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    Lions gamble with Bok-less squad

    2016-07-12 12:00

    Johannesburg - The Lions have rested their star players for their Super Rugby trip to Argentina.

    The men from Johannesburg take on the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Saturday (23:40 SA time) in the final league game of this year’s competition.

    Coach Johan Ackermann has opted to rest all his Springbok players for the trip.

    Scrumhalf Ross Cronje will lead the Lions and he will have the experienced Howard Mnisi to help with the leadership duties.

    “This is a great opportunity for our whole group to experience and express themselves at Super Rugby level and to make sure everybody is prepared at the highest level,” said Ackermann.

    “The 15 players that stay behind will have time to work hard physically for the next round of important Super Rugby matches that lie ahead. It also gives us the chance to do some medical rehabilitation with some of them. With the long travelling hours to Argentina one loses a lot of time that could have been spent working with these players.

    “That being said, we have a lot of faith in the players that we send to Argentina. They have been part of our extended squad for the whole year and must be ready to play in a play-off game should we need them and we regard this as vital preparation.”

    It will be an important fixture for the Lions as a win would in all likelihood see them finish atop the overall Super Rugby standings, securing home ground advantage throughout the playoffs. 

    Defeat would open the door for all of the Hurricanes, Highlanders, Crusaders and Chiefs in the race for top spot. 

    The team leaves for Argentina on Wednesday.

    Teams:

    Jaguares

    TBA

    Lions

    15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Koch Marx, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ross Cronje (captain), 8 Cyle Brink, 7 Robert Kruger, 6 Stef de Witt, 5 Lourens Erasmus, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Jacques van Rooyen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Corné Fourie

    Substitutes (two to be omitted): 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Clinton Theron, 18 Pieter Scholtz, 19 Fabian Booysen, 20 Ruaan Lerm, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Shaun Reynolds, 24 Bobby de Wee, 25 Ashlon Davids

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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