Lions coach John Mitchell has selected an unchanged side to face the Reds this weekend, a rarity in this year’s Super Rugby campaign for any team, and the first in many weeks for the Johannesburg based side.
The Lions face a Reds team that will be pushing for five points in their own chase for the top of the Australian conference, while the Lions will be looking for their second victory this season which, should they pull it off, will not only be a remarkable upset, but will end the Reds’ hopes of a play-off spot.
Grant Hattingh, following his call up from the Varsity Cup, has made the 7 jersey his own, while his favoured position is lock, and is a third lineout option for the Lions, an area where they have been struggling this season.
Another youngster who has impressed so far this season is fullback Andries Coetzee, who continues to deliver outstanding performances, which should stand him in good stead should the Lions be tossed from Super Rugby and has to negotiate a new contract elsewhere.
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Grant Hattingh, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Franco van der Merwe, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 CJ Van der Linde, 18 Cobus Grobbelaar, 19 Jaco Kriel, 20 Tian Meyer, 21 Ruan Combrinck, 22 James Kamana