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VIDEO: Playmaker out for the season as Lions get key forwards back

SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen has revealed a 25-man squad for their trip to Italy.

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The Johannesburg-based side will be facing Benetton in Round 16 of the United Rugby Championship.

Springbok tighthead Ruan Dreyer returns from a three-match ban to offer experience to the front row department, which includes Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Rhynardt Rijnsburger and JP Smith.

Lock Reinhard Nothnagel, who has recovered from an ankle injury suffered in December, has also been included in the travelling squad.

Currie Cup captain Travis Gordon gets the nod after playing 160 minutes of Currie Cup rugby to mark his successful return to rugby after a long-term injury.

Flank Ruan Delport enjoys his first tour in the Lions’ URC colours after being drafted into the group in February 2023.

The Lions also confirmed that flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse (shoulder injury) will play no further part in the season.

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He is only expected to recover from his injury at the end of June or the beginning of July.

Meanwhile, Saturday’s match in Treviso will be a special occasion for fullback Andries Coetzee.

He has spent a year with the Italian club and he knows what to expect from his former teammates.

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“It will be good to see them,” said Coetzee.

“We all know Benetton is a big physical side and they are also good with ball in their hand, so I think it is going to be a proper Test-match game.

“They have a couple of guys that play for Italy, so we are looking forward to it, but we know it’s going to be a fast and physical game.”

VIDEO: Playmaker out for the season as Lions get key forwards back

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