While the Sharks and Western Province struggle with hooker injuries and call-ups, the Lions welcome back after a long injury lay-off, Bandise Maku, to the starting fifteen against Western Province this weekend.
Maku comes into the team in place of Callie Visagie, who misses out due to some bruised ribs. In other good news for the Lions, Elton Jantjies’ release from Springbok duty means he gets a start with Butch James shifting one spot over to inside centre. Butch takes Waylon Murray’s spot, who is down with a knee injury.
There are a few changes to the bench as well, with Martin Bezuidenhout back and Deon Helberg taking the place of Guy Cronje.
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 JR Esterhuizen, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Butch James, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Joshua Strauss, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (captain)
Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Willie Britz, 19 Jaco Kriel, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Deon Helberg, 22 Ruan CombrinckTweet