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Bok's son gets Lions debut in Cork against Munster

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen has revealed his team to face Munster in Round 12 of the United Rugby Championship at Musgrave Park in Cork.


Former Sharks player Emile van Heerden will make his debut this Friday for the Johannesburg franchise.

The exciting young recruit, who is the son of former Springbok lock Fritz van Heerden, takes his place in the No.7 jumper alongside Jarod Cairns and Emmanuel Tshituka.

In other changes to the team that got smashed by the Stormers last weekend, Stean Pienaar is included on the wing in place of Sibahle Maxwane. Scrumhalf Morne van den Berg also gets a start this week.

There is also a new second-row combination in the form of Darrien Landsberg and Ruan Venter.

Elsewhere, hooker Michael van Vuuren gets his chance off the bench coupled with the experience of Willem Alberts and Andre Warner.

Friday’s match is the Lions’ first fixture of a four-week tour of Europe which comprises of two EPCR Challenge Cup games with their final URC match taking place on January 28 against Connacht.


The Marius Louw-led side will look to start the tour off on a winning note, hoping to replicate similar performances which saw them achieve three out of three wins overseas at the start of the 2022/23 season.

“Friday will be a good test for our guys against Munster on tour,” said Lions scrum coach Julian Redelinghuys.

“The Munster pack has been in good form recently, so Friday will be an exciting challenge for this team especially the guys who’ll be getting an opportunity to feature.

“We all know you don’t grow when it’s easy, you grow when it’s tough – and Friday will be tough especially in these conditions away from home.


“Playing at Musgrave Park will be new for us as none of our current squad members have played there. In saying that, we tend to strive under the new and unknown so this will certainly be one of those.”

Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Henco van Wyk, 12 Marius Louw (captain), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Emmanuel Tshituka, 7 Emile van Heerden, 6 Jarod Cairns, 5 Darrien Landsberg, 4 Ruan Venter, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 Pieter Botha, 1 Jean-Pierre Smith.
Replacements: 16 Michael van Vuuren, 17 Morgan Naudé, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Sibusiso Sangweni, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Gianni Lombard, 23 Manuel Rass.

Date: Friday, January 6
Venue: Musgrave Park, Cork
Kick-off: 19.35 (19.35 GMT; 21.35 SA time)
Referee: Hollie Davidson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Andrew Cole (Ireland), Sam Holt (Ireland)
TMO: Sam Grove-White (Scotland)

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