The Leopards have made two changes to their team to meet the Falcons in their Currie Cup promotion-relegation return match in Potchefstroom on Friday.
The Leopards, First Division finalists, stunned the Falcons when they beat them 29-24 in Brakpan last Friday – leaving the Falcons, who finished last in the Currie Cup Premier Division, with a mountain to climb if they hope to retain their status amongst South Africa’s elite provinces.
Rugby 365 reports that struggling scrumhalf Theo van Wyk has been replaced in the Leopards starting XV for this week and loosehead prop Divan Kotze wasn’t considered.
The Leopards are playing the waiting game with flyhalf Clayton Durand, giving him time till Friday morning to prove his fitness.
The young protégé WD Botha has been named on an extended bench to cover for Durand.
Botha will almost certainly play a role in the match, either in the Starting XV or from the bench.
The aggressive Nardus Lombard starts at loosehead prop and apart from scrummaging he is an improvement on Kotze in every other aspect of play.
Five backline players have been named on an extended bench, with two to be discarded before the kick-off.
The weather conditions might also influence the final selection of the reserves and a change in the starting line-up might also be on the cards.
Fullback Jan van Zyl gets a final opportunity to equal or better the Leopards try-scoring record of 18 in one season held by his teammate Colin Lloyd.
Leopards: 15 Jan van Zyl, 14 Vuyo Zangqa, 13 Deon van Rensburg, 12 Basil de Doncker, 11 Colin Lloyd, 10 Clayton Durand, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Riaan Swanepoel (captain), 7 RW Kember, 6 Jaco Bouwer, 5 Draad Linde, 4 Antonie Gronum, 3 Dietlov Coetzee, 2 Gavin Williamson, 1 Nardus Lombard.
Replacements – from: Pellow van der Westhuizen, Os van der Walt, Rynard Landman, Bennie Adams and three from Theo van Wyk, WD Botha, Japie Nel, Paul Bosch, Anvor Schooney.
Date: Friday, October 24
Venue: Olën Park, Potchefstroom
Referee: Marius Jonker
Touch judges: Willie Roos, Peter de Bruin
TMO: Michael Cupido
Television coverage: Live on SuperSport 1