Robert Kruger and Deon van Rensburg are the two newcomers named in Loffie Eloff’s 26-man squad embarking on a four-match tour of the Antipodes this weekend.
Kruger is a 21-year-old loose forward from the Leopards who recently represented the Pukke in the Varsity Cup. He is highly rated in Lions land and has been picked ahead of any number of other promising young loosies. The Lions certainly don’t seem short of talent in the back row. Centre is a different story, though, with last week’s first-choice inside centre, Barry Goodes, now nowhere to be seen. Doppies La Grange is back in the mix with van Rensburg, a journeyman centre also from Potch picked ahead of both Goodes and the unlucky Walter Venter.
One person who will not be on the tour is Leon Boshoff, despite being found not-guilty of a racial slur. Apparently the relationship between employer and employee has broken down to such an extent that Boshoff has been shown the door, with a paid-up contract in his back pocket. Eddie Jones has also turned down the dubious honour of joining the Lions on tour, meaning Eloff will presumably be flying solo.
Lions tour squad:
Props: JC Janse van Rensburg, Gert Muller, Lawrence Sephaka, Heinke van der Merwe
Hookers: Hans van Dyk, Willie Wepener
Locks: Jannes Labuschagne, Gerhard Mostert, Anton van Zyl
Loosies: Willem Alberts, Todd Clever, Cobus Grobbelaar, Robert Kruger, Franco van der Merwe,Ernst Joubert
Scrumhalves: Chris Jonck, Jano Vermaak
Flyhalves: Andre Pretorius, Earl Rose
Centres: Jaque Fourie, Doppies la Grange, Deon van Rensburg
Outside Backs: Shandre Frolick, Louis Ludik, Henno Mentz, Ashwin Willemse