Cape Town - The Lions have surprised by including Hacjivah Dayimani at No 8 ahead of their crunch Super Rugby match against the Crusaders at Ellis Park on Sunday as coach Swys de Bruin made a whopping seven changes to the side that lost to the Jaguares last Saturday.
Kick-off is at 14:30.
According to the supersport.com website, Dayimani, who was even played on the wing for the SuperSport Challenge side in recent weeks, gets his first start against the defending champions, allowing Kwagga Smith to move back to his regular openside flank position.
Smith comes face to-face with the Crusaders for the first time since his
ill-fated Super Rugby final appearance some seven months ago where he was red-carded in the 38th minutes for a dangerous mid-air tackle which contributed to the Lions eventually losing 25-17.
Robert Kruger is unavailable due to concussion symptoms and the Lions have decided to bring Dayimani in, with Cyle Brink packing down at seven for the game.
Madosh Tambwe, who burst onto the scene last year but since has had a quiet time, will come in on the wing in the place of the injured Aphiwe Dyantyi, who was ruled out earlier this week. Harold Vorster replaces Rohan Janse van Rensburg at inside centre, with the Bok dropping out of the match day 23 altogether.
Ross Cronje, who was said to said to be available after a rib injury, clearly didn’t make the grade this week, meaning Dillon Smit will get his first start in the No 9 jersey after returning in Argentina a week ago against the Jaguares after missing a large part of last season with a fractured ankle.
The Lions have interestingly decided to go once again without a back-up scrumhalf on the bench, with Andries Coetzee the back-up if required during the game.
Andries Ferreira is back at lock as well after missing the trip to Argentina and will replace Marvin Orie at lock with Orie dropping to the bench while Jacobie Adriaanse is also back on the bench. Dylan Smith also packs down at loosehead prop in the place of Jacques van Rooyen. Malcolm Marx is back at hooker with Robbie Coetzee falling out of the match day 23 altogether.
Corne Fourie, who we are more used to seeing packing down at prop, will be on the bench as replacement hooker this week, while Marnus Schoeman is also on the bench to give an added forward impetus in the game.
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert (captain), 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith
Substitutes: 16 Corne Fourie, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Marvin Orie, 21 Marnus Schoeman, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Shaun Reynolds
15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tim Perry
Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mike Delany, 23 Manasa Mataele