Record crowd set for Super Rugby final
Johannesburg - Saturday’s Super Rugby final between the Lions and Crusaders is set to break the tournament's all-time attendance match record.
The current record is the 61 823 crowd which attended the 2014 Super Rugby final between the Waratahs and Crusaders at ANZ Stadium (Stadium Australia) in Sydney.
However, 62 000 fans are expected at Ellis Park on Saturday.
“The final is highly anticipated by rugby fans and will see the best two teams of the season go head to head for the title this year. Lions fans, disappointed not to have seen their team win the title last year in Wellington, have ensured a bumper crowd will be present in Johannesburg with the Lions confirming it is a sell-out,” SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos said via a press statement on Friday.
Lions CEO and former Springbok loose forward, Rudolf Straeuli, also commented: “Lions fans are passionate about their rugby and are desperate to see their team win the title. When the tickets went on sale they sold out within a matter of two hours. The last time we had a sell-out was the Springboks versus All Blacks a few years ago and I believe we will set a new Super Rugby record on Saturday when the Lions take on the Crusaders.”
The two teams had their captain’s run training sessions at Ellis Park on Friday and both declared themselves fit and raring to go in the final.
Lions captain Jaco Kriel and Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock appeared with the Super Rugby trophy at the stadium to promote the global broadcast by SuperSport.
The Lions, runners-up in 2016 to the Hurricanes, are appearing in their second successive Super Rugby final and will be keen to add their name to the champions list for the first time.
The Crusaders are the most successful team in Super Rugby history, having won the Super Rugby title seven times.
Kick-off for Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 16:00.
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 23 Sylvian Mahuza
15 David Havili, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Seta Tamanivalu, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Mike Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 George Bridge