Lions to unleash former Stormers speedster
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen has revealed his team for their United Rugby Championship Round Six clash against Cardiff in Johannesburg on Sunday.
It’s a strong matchday 23 which sees the return of Willem Alberts and Tiaan Swanepoel from long-term injuries.
Wing Edwill van der Merwe, who joined the team from the Stormers, is set to make his debut for the Johannesburg side.
Fred Zeilinga gets the all-important No.10 jersey, with Matt More coming in as backline cover on the bench.
Andre Warner is at scrumhalf with EW Viljoen at the back in the fullback position.
Burger Odendaal will captain the team from the midfield and he will be partnered by Wandisile Simelane.
Sibahle Maxwane will be in the No.14 jersey.
In the pack, Francke Horn will wear the No.8 jersey and he is joined in the back row by Vincent Tshituka and Jaco Kriel.
Reinhard Nothnagel and Ruben Schoeman are in the second row, while Carlu Sadie, Jaco Visagie and Sithembiso Sithole will form the front row.
“It’s good to be back home. We’ve put in solid training sessions on and off the field over the past three weeks and the guys are looking in great shape and quite excited to play at home,” said Van Rooyen.
“Our focus this weekend is to achieve a positive result by executing on the plans we have set out for ourselves as a squad and most importantly improving on the gains we achieved overseas in certain areas.”
He added: “We are extremely pleased to have a majority fit squad to select from for our first home fixture.
“Willem and Tiaan missed out on the first four games of our Northern Hemisphere campaign, so they’ll be raring to go should they get an opportunity.”
Lions: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Sibahle Maxwane, 13 Wandisile Simelane 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Botha, 17 Morgan Naude, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Ruhan Straeuli, 21 Morne van den Berg, 22 Matt More 23 Tiaan Swanepoel.
Date: Sunday, November 28
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 16.00 (14.00 UK & Ireland time, 14,00 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Griffin Colby (South Africa)
TMO: Stuart Berry (South Africa)