Lions captain returns for Connacht clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Inspirational captain Burger Odendaal will don the number 12 jersey this Saturday as the Lions take on Irish team Connacht at Ellis Park in the United Rugby Championship.
Burger comes back to lead a fairly settled match 23, who will look to add to their impressive home record against overseas opponents in the tournament.
Earlier this week, Backline, Attack and Skills mentor Ricardo Laubscher emphasized the need for his group of players to bounce back in what is his team’s penultimate home game in the competition.
“The big thing for us now is to bounce back and it all starts with Connacht on Saturday,” a determined Laubscher commented.
“Key for us at this stage of the competition is to do well in our upcoming two games at home before we play Dragons away in our final fixture.”
The former Springbok fullback believes Connacht will come to Ellis Park aiming for a positive result as they look to build on their win record against all South African opposition in the URC thus far.
“Connacht are a very good side, who play for each other and carry quite a bit of belief in how they do things,” he commented.
“We will need to find ways of breaking them down and one way we believe we can achieve that, is by playing to our strengths which we’ve executed quite well in previous weeks,” he concluded.
Carlu Sadie and Jaco Visagie are expected to offer experience and impact off the bench, with Andre Warner covering the halfback position.
Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Rabz Maxwane, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Burger Odendaal (Captain), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Emmanuel Tshituka, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Francke Horn, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Pieter Botha, 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Jean-Pierre Smith, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Ruan Venter, 20 Sibusiso Sangweni, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manuel Rass, 23 Tiaan Swanepoel.
Date: Saturday, April 23
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 16.05 (15.05 UK time; 14.05 GMT)
Referee: Craig Evans (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron (South Africa), Morne Ferreira (South Africa)
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)