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Visagie leads new look Lions in France

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Jaco Visagie will captain the Lions in their Challenge Cup encounter with Perpignan at Stade Aime Giral on Sunday.

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The Lions have gone for a new look team from the side that participated in the United Rugby Championship in a bid to be competitive in both tournaments after they reached the quarterfinals of the EPCR Challenge Cup last season on their competition debut.

Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen will be banking on the strength of the squad system in order to do so.

The Lions match 23 sees a series of exciting combinations as well as international debuts locks Etienne Oosthuizen and Raynard Roets, wing Boldwin Hansen and new signing Erich Cronje.

Also in line for international club debuts are Conraad van Vuuren, Izan Esterhuizen and scrumhalf Johan Mulder who recently toured with the side earlier this season.

With the Lions placed ninth in the URC following three wins from seven games, Van Rooyen wants his team to be competitive in both tournaments after they reached the quarterfinals of the EPCR Challenge Cup last season on their competition debut.

Van Rooyen said: “Rotation was always part of the plan for this trip to France. We have the opportunity to tap into the squad we currently have for the next two weeks of EPCR Challenge Cup fixtures both away and home.

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“To get the performance we want and to potentially win both games (Perpignan and Newcastle Falcons), we will rely on the players at our disposal, as we have huge confidence in using the broader squad.

“We’ve prepared and trained accordingly for the past 2-3 weeks, so we’ll be ready to go.”

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Rabz Maxwane, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Zander du Plessis, 11 Bodwin Hansen, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Nico Steyn, 8 Hanru Sirgel, 7 Ruhan Straeuli, 6 JC Pretorius, 5 Raynard Roets, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Jaco Visagie (captain), 1 Corne Fourie
Replacements: 16 Morne Brandon, 17 Morgan Naude, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Izan Esterhuizen, 20 Travis Gordon, 21 Johan Mulder, 22 Gianni Lombard, 23 Rynhardt Jonker/Sibusiso Sangweni

Date: Sunday, December 10
Venue: Stade Aime Giral
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Adam Leal (Eng)
Assistant Referees: Alex Thomas (Eng), Neil Chivers (Eng)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (Eng)

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Additional source @EPCR

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