Lions head to Wales with 'new' leadership group
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: The Lions have named their 28-man touring squad for their last United Rugby Championship match of the season.
The Lions will face the Dragons on Saturday.
The Johannesburg side head to Wales without some big names
Lions captain Burger Odendaal will not travel with the team for their last URC fixture of the season.
The 28-year-old centre is set to join Premiership side Wasps next season.
The captain’s armband will be handed to Reinhard Nothnagel in Odendaal absence.
The other high-profile absentees are Carlu Sadie and Wandisile Simelane.
Sadie will join the Sharks on a two-year contract along with teammate Vincent Tshituka.
However, last week the Lions Rugby Company Chief Executive Officer Rudolf Straeuli suggested to @rugby365com that is not a done deal.
Meanwhile, Wandisile Simelane has been linked to a move to the Bulls.
“We’re quite pleased with the squad we’ve selected ahead of our final URC match in Newport against the Dragons,” Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen said.
“As mentioned last week, it gives us an opportunity as a franchise to cast our eye towards the future, and we believe that the bulk of this group will form part of that core.”
He added: “Once again, this approach is in line without the strategy of developing within our structure and some of these names are proof of that.
“In saying that, Dragons will be a tough outfit to play in their own backyards. However, it offers a few of our players an opportunity to impress.”
Lions tour squad:
Forwards: Sithembiso Sithole, Jean-Pierre Smith, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter Botha, Jaco Visagie, Ruan Dreyer, Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Reinhard Nothnagel (captain), Ruan Venter, Ruben Schoeman, Sibusiso Sangweni, Francke Horn, Jarod Cairns, Vincent Tshituka, Morne Brandon, Peter-John Steenkamp.
Backs: Morné van den Berg, Andre Warner, Jordan Hendrikse, Tiaan Swanepoel, Matt More, Manuel Rass, Henco Van Wyk, Edwill van der Merwe, Stean Pienaar, Quan Horn, Sanele Nohambe, Rabz Maxwane.