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No Nohamba as Lions make wholesale changes

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Hooker Jaco Visagie will lead the Lions against Italian outfit Benetton in a Challenge Cup Round of 16 clash at the Stadio Monigo on Saturday.

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Saturday’s matchday 23 sees quite a few changes in personnel from the side that ran out against Ospreys last weekend.

Victory in Treviso will see the team from Johannesburg face either Connacht or Pau, with victory against the former still fresh in their minds.

The Lions will rely on veteran Willem Alberts in the second row to provide the necessary experience alongside Darrien Landsberg, while Andries ‘Boeboes’ Coetzee is tasked to bring calmness to the back three which features the return of prolific try-scorer Rabz Maxwane and powerful wing Stean Pienaar.

A positional switch sees Richard Kriel slot into the outside centre role, with Zander du Plessis getting his opportunity in the No.12 jumper.

Morne van den Berg will start in the No.9 jersey as Sanele Nohamba drops out of the matchday 23.

Hanru Sirgel gets an opportunity in the No.8 jersey and Morgan Naude takes over the No.1 jersey from JP Smith.

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The new-look 23 boasts an impressive reserves bench with the likes of Ruan Dreyer, Izan Esterhuizen, Francke Horn and Erich Cronje ready to make an impact if called upon.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Richard Kriel, 12 Zander du Plessis, 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Hanru Sirgel, 7 Emmanuel Tshituka, 6 JC Pretorius, 5 Darrien Landsberg, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2. Jaco Visagie (captain), 1 Morgan Naude.
Replacements: 16 Morne Brandon, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Ruan Delport, 20 Izan Esterhuizen, 21 Francke Horn, 22 Nico Steyn, 23 Erich Cronje.

Date: Saturday, April 6
Venue: Stadio Monigo, Treviso
Kick-off: 18.30 (18.30 SAST; 16.30 GMT)
Referee: Christophe Ridley (England)
Assistant referees: Jon Healy (England), Joe James (England)
TMO: Dean Richards (England)

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