Lions & Sharks introduce 'new' talent for pre-season showdown
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENTS: The Lions, the worst of the South African teams in last season’s United Rugby Championship, will introduce some of their new recruits in a pre-season encounter with the Sharks.
The Lions host the Sharks at Ellis Park on Friday.
Top of the list is returning Springbok Andries Coetzee, who is back at Ellis Park after a three-year stint in Japan and Italy.
With Coetzee at fullback, Quan Horn moves to the right wing in an impressive back three that also includes Edwill van der Merwe.
Another new recruit is former Sharks stalwart Marius Louw, who will partner Henco van Wyk in the midfield.
Jordan Hendrikse and Morné van den Berg forms a familiar halfback combination.
The departure of Vincent Tshituka to the Sharks has opened the door for Ruan Venter ion a revamped loose forward combination.
Reinhardt Nothnagel, who starts at lock, and Springbok Jaco Kriel, who plays off the bench, will share the captaincy duties.’
The most significant selection in the pack is that of Currie Cup captain Asenathi Ntlabakanye, who will start at loosehead prop – having played on the tighthead most of this year’s domestic competition.
* Meanwhile, the Sharks named Lions import Carlu Sadie on their extended bench.
However, there is no sign of other off-season signings – Vincent Tshituka from the Lions and Rohan Janse van Rensburg from Sale Sharks.
The starting XV features internationals like Aphelele Fassi, Ben Tapuai, Anthony Volmink and Curwin Bosch.
The bench features Springbok Sikhumbuzo Notshe and BlitzBoks Werner Kok.
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Quan Horn, 13 Henco van Wyk, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Morné van den Berg, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Ruan Venter, 6 Travis Gordon, 5 Reinhardt Nothnagel (co-captain), 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Pieter Botha, 1 Asenathi Ntlabakanye.
Replacements – from: Morgan Naudé, Jaco Visagie, Ruan Dreyer, Pieter Jansen van Vuren, Pieter-John Steenkamp, Jaco Kriel (co-captain), Ruhan Straeuli, Emmanuel Tshituka, Sanele Nohamba, Gianni Lombard, Sibahle Maxwane, Zander du Plessis, Sango Xamlashe, Stean Pienaar, Tiaan Swanepoel, Stephan Smit, Sibusiso Sangweni, Andre Warner.
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Marnus Potgieter, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Phendulani Buthelezi, 7 Dylan Richardson, 6 James Venter, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Thembelani Bholi, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Dian Bleuler.
Replacements – from: Dan Jooste, Khwezi Mona, Carlu Sadie, Hanro Jacobs, Jaco Willemse, Hyron Andrews, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Zee Mkhabela, Lionel Cronje, Thaakir Abrahams, Nevaldo Fleurs, Werner Kok, Boeta Chamberlain.
Date: Friday, September 2
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)