Straeuli on 'trial' at the Den
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENTS: Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen has named a powerful team, including several Springbok veterans, to face the Pumas in a pre-season friendly at Ellis Park on Friday.
Forgotten Bok scrumhalf Ross Cronje will captain the side and can lean on the experience of seasoned players like Jannie du Plessis and Willem Alberts.
However, the most interesting selection is that of flank Ruhan Straeuli – son of 1995 World Cup-winning Bok Rudolf, the current CEO of the Lions Rugby Company.
Straeuli junior is on trial with the Lions, after playing for Stellenbosch University in the Varsity Cup.
He was schooled at Glenwood High and Menlopark, where he featured in the Blue Bulls’ Under-18 Academy team.
Ruhan Straeuli is a utility forward who is equally at home in the second row and back row.
He will start as a blindside flank on Friday.
Several players who did not feature in the encounter with the Stormers in last week’s SuperFan outing has recovered from injury and will get a run on Friday.
This include Stean Pienaar, Wiehan Herbst and Willem Alberts.
Lions: 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Stean Pienaar, 10 Tiaan Swanepoel, 9 Ross Cronje (captain), 8 Len Massyn, 7 Ruhan Straeuli, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 PJ Botha, 1 Sti Sithole.
Replacements – from: Jaco Visagie, Nathan McBeth, Wiehahn Herbst, Willem Alberts, MJ Pelser, Francke Horn, Hacjivah Dayimani, Morné van den Berg, André Warner, Burger Odendaal, Sibahle Maxwane, Dillon Smit.
Pumas: 15 Ruwellyn Isbell, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Ryan Nell, 12 Wayne van der Bank, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Eddie Fouche, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Kwanda Dimaza, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Pieter Janse van Vuren, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Marne Coetzee, 2 Marko Janse Rensburg, 1 Morgan Naude.
Replacements – from: Liam Hendriks, Ruan Kramer, Simon Westraadt, HP van Schoor, Darrien Landsburg, Heath Backhouse, Francois Kleinhans, Phumzile Maqondwana, Jeandre Rudolph, Giovan Snyman, Fiela Boshoff, Niel Marais, Neil Maritz, Morne Joubert, Dian Badenhorst.
Date: Friday, October 2
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 14.00 (12.00 GMT)
Referee: Griffin Colby
Assistant referees: Ashleigh Murray, Hernus Coetzee