Lions bulk up on Springboks

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 13:54
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SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: The Lions have named nine Springboks in their strong 40-man squad for the upcoming 2017 Super Rugby season.

In the beginning of 2016, the Johannesburg side only had three Springboks in their set-up namely Warren Whiteley, Elton Janjies and Lionel Mapoe. However, they still went on to beat two former champions, Crusaders and the Highlanders, before suffering a defeat at the hands of the Hurricanes in the final.   

This year proves to be different as head coach Johan Ackerman has the luxury of including nine Springboks, with an additional Blitzbok, in the squad.

Springbok and Lions stalwart Warren Whitley has again the mammoth task of leading the troops in this year's competitions.

Whiteley is joined by eight fellow Springboks namely wing Ruan Combrinck, scrumhalf Francois de Klerk, centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg, flyhalf Jantjies, flank Jaco Kriel, centre Mapoe, hooker Malcolm Marx and lock Francois Mostert.

While Blitzbok Albertus Smith was also named in the side.

Newcomers Marvin Orie (Bulls), Hendrik van Wyk (Bulls), Justin Ackerman (Kings) and Sithembiso Sithole (Kings) also made the cut.  

Despite two pre-season defeats, 17-38 to the Bulls and 40-57 Stormers respectively, the Lions' continuity and solid structures make them a formidable side for the 2017 Super Rugby Championship.

The Lions start their Super Rugby campaign away to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on February 25.

Lions Squad:
 
Forwards:
Justin Ackerman, Ruan Ackermann, Fabian Booysen, Cyle Brink, Robin Coetzee, Hacjivah Dayimani, Ruan Dreyer, Lourens Erasmus, Andries Ferreira, Corne Fourie, Johannes Jonker, Jacobus Kriel, Robert Kruger, Malcolm Marx, Francois Mostert, Marvin Orie, Sithembiso Sithole, Albertus Smith, Dylan Smith, Armand van der Merwe, Jacques van Rooyen, Hendrik van Wyk, Warren Whiteley.

Backs: Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Ross Cronje, Francois De Klerk, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Elton Jantjies, Sylvian Mahuza, Lionel Mapoe, Xolani Mnisi, Jacques Nel, Shaun Reynolds, COurtnall Skosan, Dillon Smith, Michael Tambwe, Jaco van der Walt, Anthony Volmink, Harold Voster 

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Mon, 20 February 2017
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Durban
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 11h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 08h45 Melbourne
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
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Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
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Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
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Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
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Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9