Lions reveal their captain ahead for Bulls clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen has named his team to face the Bulls in their Rainbow Cup SA opener in Pretoria on Saturday.
Van Rooyen has remained firm on the succession plan of the Lions Rugby Company by putting his faith in a blend of youth and experience for the first round of the tournament.
Centre Dan Kriel will lead the team and he will partner Wandisile Simelane in the midfield.
The two previous times Kriel was named captain, those games were called off. Kriel was due to captain the team against the Pumas in the Currie Cup and he was due to captain the team this past Saturday before the match was delayed to this weekend.
The two other candidates for the captaincy, Burger Odendaal and Willem Alberts, are out injured and are a week away from regaining full fitness.
Regular captain Elton Jantjies is in France on a short-term loan.
Stean Pienaar and Courtnall Skosan are the wings and Tiaan Swanepoel gets the No.15 jersey.
Van Rooyen has opted for Fred Zeilinga at flyhalf and André Warner for the No.9 jersey.
In the pack, Francke Horn, Vincent Tshituka and 6 MJ Pelser will form the back row. The second row consists of Wilhelm van der Sluys and Ruben Schoeman.
Jannie du Plessis, PJ Botha and Sti Sithole will form the front row.
Besides Odendaal and Alberts, the other injury concern in the squad is Jaco Kriel. He is also a week away from being fit.
Lions: 15 Tiaan Swanepoel, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan Kriel (captain), 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 André Warner, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 MJ Pelser, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 PJ Botha, 1 Sti Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Morné Brandon, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Emmanuel Tshituka, 21 Sibusiso Sangweni, 22 Morné van den Berg, 23 EW Viljoen.
Date: Saturday, May 1
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Referees: Griffon Colby, Paul Mente
TMO: Marius van der Westhuzien