Flank Wilhelm Koch has been named as captain of the Royal XV that will take on the British & Irish Lions in their opening tour match at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Phokeng, near Rustenburg, on Saturday.
The Royal’s XV coach Chaka Willemse has included a strong contingent from the recent Vodacom Cup-winning Griquas side in his starting XV.
Rugby 365 reports that eleven players from Griquas and four from the Leopards were included in the starting XV.
Only one player from the Pumas, replacement scrumhalf Jacques Coetzee, made the side.
Koch, a relative of former Springbok prop Chris Koch, who played against the Lions in
1955, will lead the charge in the tour opener.
Willemse gave preference to players with Super 14 experience and has selected a good halfback pairing in Griquas flyhalf Naas Olivier and his teammate Sarel Pretorius at scrumhalf.
Both played for the Cheetahs this season.
Deon van Rensburg (Lions centre), Bjorn Basson (Cheetahs wing) and Bees Roux (Cheetahs prop) are other members of the team that played regularly at Super 14 level this season.
Royal XV: 15 Russell Jeacocks, 14 Egon Seconds, 13 Deon van Rensburg, 12 Hanno Coetzee, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jonathan Mokuena, 7 Devon Raubenheimer, 6 Wilhelm Koch (captain), 5 Jacques Lombaard, 4 Rudi Mathee, 3 Bees Roux, 2 Rayno Barnes, 1 Albertus Buckle.
Replacements: 16 Pellow van der Westhuizen, 17 Stef Roberts, 18 Rynard Landman, 19 RW Kember, 20 Jacques Coetzee, 21 Riaan Viljoen, 22 Jovan Bowles.
Date: Saturday, May 30
Venue: Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Marius Jonker
Assistant referee: Jaco Peyper, Reuben Rossouw
TMO: Shaun Veldsman