Lions ring the changes for tour opener
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Lions have made a number of changes for the opening match of their United Rugby Championship tour.
The team from Johannesburg, who opened with a home loss last week, faces Ospreys in Swansea on Saturday in a Round Two match.
They also face Cardiff (September 30) and Edinburgh (October 7), before returning home for a series of home matches.
The backline shows three changes from that which lost to the Bulls at Ellis Park – with an all-new halfback pairing of Gianni Lombard and Sanele Nohamba.
Flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse and scrumhalf Morné van den Berg drop down to the replacement bench.
Zander du Plessis moves up from the bench to start at outside centre in place of Henco van Wyk, who drops out of the matchday squad.
There are two changes in the pack.
Emmanuel Tshituka also moves up from the bench to start at blindside flank in place of Ruhan Straeuli – another player dropping out of the matchday squad.
Ruben Schoeman will partner with captain Reinhard Nothnagel in the second row, with Ruan Venter dropping down to the bench.
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Zander du Plessis, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Quan Horn, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Emmanuel Tshituka, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel (captain), 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Pieter Botha, 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Jean-Pierre Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Pieter Jansen van Vuren, 20 Ruan Venter, 21 Morné van den Berg, 22 Jordan Hendrikse, 23 Sango Xamlashe.
Date: Saturday, September 24
Venue: Swansea Stadium, Swansea
Kick-off: 19.35 (20.35 Italian & SA time)
Referee: Eoghan Cross (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Rhys Jones (Wales), Dai Cambourne (Wales)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)