The Lions team that faces the Stormers tonight at Newlands is a very different to team to what we saw last time the Lions ran out. All the new signings as well as the returning Lions players will be getting some game time tonight.
Starting from the front, we have ex-Bulls Bandise Maku slotting straight into the front row with what looks to be a settled scrum unit from the Lions.
Most of the changes come in the backline where the Sharks halfbacks Rory Kockott and Andre Pretorius, who are both previous Lions, form a formidable pairing, with the experienced Pretorius facing a very young van Aswegen.
We will finally see Lionel Mapoe in action after a year in the courts, he will slot in on the wing with Deon van Rensburg, with regular winger Michael Killian moving to fullback. Exciting Jaco Taute has been moved to the inside centre jersey which should make for some exciting play with Waylon Murray. They will face up to the Springbok pairing of Jean de Villiers and Juan de Jongh.
The extended bench is expected to be fully utilised in what is nothing more than a warm up match. The most notable player not in the match 28 is Elton Jantjies, who is reported to be too unfit to play Super Rugby.
The team is:
Michael Killian, Deon van Rensburg, Waylon Murray, Jaco Taute, Lionel Mapoe, Andre Pretorius, Rory Kockott, Warren Whiteley, Joshua Strauss, Derick Minnie, George Earle, Franco van der Merwe (capt.), Kevin Buys, Bandise Maku, JC Janse van Rensburg.
16-22: Martin Bezuidenhout, Jacobie Adriaanse, Wikus van Heerden, Cobus Grobbelaar, Jano Vermaak, Jannie Boshoff, Burton Francis.
23-28: Edgar Maruthlulle, Ross Geldenhuys, David Bulbring, Dries van Schalkwyk, Joubert Engelbrecht, Tonderai Chavhanga