Lions bring out the 'A' team, as Faf departs

Thu, 18 May 2017 11:41

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Lions will field their best front row when they host the Bulls in a trans-Jukskei derby at Ellis Park on Saturday.

It is the Lions' first game back home, after their historic unbeaten Australian tour in which they collected 14 out of a possible 15 points - beating the Western Force, Rebels and Brumbies along the way.

Coach Johan Ackermann made just three changes - all in the front row.

Jacques van Rooyen, Malcolm Marx and Ruan Dreyer start this week - with Armand van der Merwe, Corné Fourie and Johannes Jonker on the bench.

* Meanwhile the Lions Rugby Company confirmed that they have released discarded Springbok scrumhalf Francois de Klerk to the Sale Sharks.

De Klerk will join the English Premiership club at the end of the 2017 Super Rugby season.

"Francois [De Klerk] is still very important to our Super Rugby campaign, as he plays a vital role in our squad system," Rudolf Straeuli, CEO of the Lions Rugby Company, said.

"The player made a personal request to be released to further his career abroad and we felt we couldn't stand in his way while we also couldn't match the offer he received."

De Klerk joined the Lions in 2014 and has 58 Super Rugby appearances under his belt - which includes 12 tries (60 points).

De Klerk was full of praise for the Lions and his time with the union.

"I have loved every minute with the Lions and will miss the camaraderie with my brothers," the scrumhalf said.

"It is a special bunch of players that are more than teammates to me and is thankful for the opportunity the Lions gave me.

"I am fully committed to the Super Rugby campaign for the rest of the season."

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Ruan Ackermann, 6 Albertus Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Anthony Volmink.

Date: Saturday, May 20
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Lesego Legoete (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4