The Lions are set to name a radically different team for Friday night’s clash against the Valke.
Eugene Eloff’s men were completely outplayed by the Bulls at home in the first round, then narrowly lost away to the Cheetahs. As the only one of the “Big 5″ to be win-less after two rounds, the signs are ominous for the Joburg side.
Eloff looks set to rest a number of key men, including loose head prop Heinke van der Merwe. Hooker Willie Wepener and loose forward Willem Alberts look certain to enjoy the same treatment, having played a lot of rugby already this season. Centre Jaco Pretorius and second-rower Gerhard Mostert join Rayno Benjamin on the injured list.
It would appear that former Sharks winger Dusty Noble will be dropped altogether and will have his work cut out trying to get back into the squad. Centre Jannie Boshoff will be released on compassionate grounds this week, meaning a shift to outside centre for Jaco van Schalkwyk. This opens up the flyhalf jersey for Louis Strydom. Ethienne Reynecke, Worms van Zyl and Wilhelm Koch look set to replace Wepener, Mostert and Alberts respectively. A front-row shuffle is expected, with JC van Rensburg moving over to loosehead to accommodate returning Bok Lawrence Sephaka in the number 3 jersey.
Possible Lions team:
Earl Rose; Justin St. Jerry, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Walter Venter, Louis Ludik; Louis Strydom, Jano Vermaak; Wilhelm Koch, Franco van der Merwe, Baywatch Grobbelaar (capt), Dewald Senekal, Anton van Zyl, Lawrence Sephaka, Ethienne Reynecke, JC van Rensburg.Tweet