Marais urges Lions to pick Boks
Cape Town - Bulls head coach Nollis Marais has advised Lions
counterpart Johan Ackermann to play his first-choice XV against the Jaguares on
There's been talk that the Super Rugby leaders might rotate
so they're fresh for the knockout stage, thus risking their route to a home
But Marais, whose side played the Jaguares in Argentina two
weeks ago and lost 29-11, believes it would be foolish of Ackermann to not
start his best XV.
"I would play the Boks‚" he told Times Live ahead
of the final game of the regular-season, which takes place at Vélez Sarsfield,
Marais though said he understood the thought-process behind wanting to rest some of your star players for the trip.
"The problem with travelling there is that it is a
26-hour travel‚ and you must hope it doesn't rain. It is difficult to travel
back (home) and play. The most difficult game is the one after the trip to
Marais added on their own experience in Argentina: "We
only arrived around midday on Monday and didn't do anything (training)‚ and
only got the guys ready again on the Tuesday. It is a very difficult trip. I understand
why he would want to (rest his players)."
Ackermann is clearly considering doing just that, despite
recent big wins over the Sharks and Kings when they looked a fresh line-up.
"I have to trust that (second-choice) players can play -
all the guys in those positions. We have got the depth‚ it is only a matter of
when is the right time to make that decision and back it,” he said following
the 57-21 victory over the Port Elizabeth side last Friday.
A win for the Lions would see them top the overall standings
and earn the right to a home final if they get that far.