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Lions coach sticks to tried and tested

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Lions coaching staff has named an unchanged line-up to face the Dragons in the United Rugby Championship at Ellis Park on Saturday.

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Last week, following four weeks on the road in Europe, the Lions showed intent back in front of their home crowd against Zebre which resulted in a convincing 61-19 thumping of the Italian side.

The Lions scored nine tries in the game, two within the opening 10 minutes.

Flyhalf Sanele Nohamba again had a sterling performance at 10 as he slotted seven conversions.

Head coach Ivan van Rooyen would also have been impressed with his star No.8 Francke Horn, who ran the show for the Lions.

The 24-year-old was everywhere, combining power and poise to perfection and capping an eye-catching display with a try and an assist which earned him a man of the match award.

The Dragons are languishing in 15th position on the log with the Lions a few places higher up at 10.

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The Welsh were subjected to a record URC defeat against the Sharks last week.

Dai Flanagan’s side were destroyed in Durban by a team who had yet to win a match in the competition before Saturday.

They conceded 10 tries and 69 points in total – the most they have shipped in the history of the competition.

It came just a week after their first home win since 2022 against the Ospreys.

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The altitude in Johannesburg will again be a big ally for the home side who love to come out of the blocks firing from the start.

Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Richard Kriel, 13 Henco van Wyk, 12 Marius Louw (captain), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Sanele Nohamba, 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Ruan Venter, 6 Emmanuel Tshituka, 5 Ruan Delport, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 PJ Botha, 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Hanru Sirgel, 21 JC Pretorius, 22 Jordan Hendrikse, 23 Rabz Maxwane

Date: Saturday, December 2
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 UK & Ireland time; 15.05 GMT)
Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
Assistant referees: Stephan Geldenhuys (South Africa), Hanru van Rooyen (South Africa)
TMO: Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)

 

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