Lions v WP - Teams and Predictions
ELLIS PARK SHOWDOWN: The Lions and Western Province have revealed their teams for Wednesday’s Currie Cup Round Two encounter in Johannesburg.
The Lions have made two changes to their pack that featured in the 10-39 loss to the Pumas in Nelspruit this past Friday.
Ruben Schoeman takes over the No.4 jersey from the injured Willem Alberts and in the front row, Ruan Dreyer replaces Carlu Sadie, who drops to the bench.
#⃣INJURY UPDATE: The @LionsRugbyCo suffered another massive setback in the wake of the embarrassing loss at the weekend#Rugby 🌐#RugbyUnion🏉#LIOvWP🇿🇦@TheCurrieCup 🏆
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) June 21, 2021
On the bench, hooker Jaco Visagie returns, while scrumhalf Morne van den Berg comes in for Ross Cronjé.
Senior players Jannie du Plessis, Jaco Kriel, MJ Pelser, Roelof Smit and Divan Rossouw will return to play soon and are busy with preparations for the upcoming fixtures.
This comes at a crucial stage as the Lions are gearing up for their British and Irish Lions match which will take place next week.
It will be the first time since 2009 that Ellis Park will host the British and Irish Lions.
Players like Stean Pienaar, Burger Odendaal, Sti Sithole, Courtnall Skosan and Asenathi Ntlabakanye will all be looking to make their return to the park for this prestigious match, as well as the rest of the Currie Cup season.
Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen said he is not too worried about the short turnaround after his team’s opening match on Friday.
“We really got stuck in the video on Monday and the guys had a good gym session and a good training session,” said Van Rooyen.
“I do think it is adequate time to fix a lot of things. Whether it is repetition or reflection, I think both can work out.
“It really forced us to be short and sharp in our preparations and get the guys focussed on the game.”
Meanwhile, there are four changes to the Western Province starting line-up.
Two of the changes are in the backline and two are in the loose trio.
Tim Swiel is at fullback, with Sergeal Petersen moving to wing in place of the injured Sihle Njezula, while Godlen Masimla starts at scrumhalf.
The two changes to the loose trio see No.8 Juarno Augustus and openside flank Marcel Theunissen come in, with Evan Roos moving to the side of the scrum.
Hooker Jason Alexander and flank De Wet Marais are in line to make their senior Western Province debuts from the replacements bench.
Western Province head coach John Dobson said that his team will need to be accurate in all areas on Wednesday.
“We know that we will need to raise our standards in order to make it two wins away from home on the Highveld.
“The players coming in all bring valuable experience and we will need that in order to get the result we are after,” he said.
Western Province opened their campaign with a 48-24 win over the Bulls on Saturday in Pretoria.
Last 10 Currie Cup outings:
2014: WP won 19-16, Cape Town
2015: Lions won 62-32, Johannesburg
2015: Lions won 32-24, Johannesburg
2016: Lions won 58-32, Johannesburg
2017: WP won 39-3, Cape Town
2017: Lions won 29-20, Johannesburg
2017: WP won 19-5, Cape Town
2018: WP won 65-38, Johannesburg
2019: Lions won 30-28, Cape Town
2020: Lions won 22-19, Johannesburg
@rugby365com: Western Province by five points.
Lions: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Sibahle Maxwane, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Francke Horn (captain), 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Pieter Botha, 1 Nathan McBeth.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Banele Mthenjane, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Ruhan Straeuli, 20 Emmanuel Tshituka, 21 Morne van den Berg, 22 Aidynn Cupido, 23 Duncan Matthews.
Western Province: 15 Tim Swiel, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Rikus Pretorius, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Abner van Reenen, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Evan Roos, 6 Marcel Theunissen, 5 David Meihuizen, 4 Ernst van Rhyn (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 JJ Kotze, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements – from: 16 Jason Alexander, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Justin Basson, 20 De Wet Marais, 21 Johan du Toit, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Cornel Smit, 24 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 25 Hacjivah Dayimani, 26 Niel Otto.
Date: Wednesday, June 23
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Referees: Local
TMO: Stuart Berry