The Lions team to face Russia this Saturday in the first match of the Lions Challenge has been announced, with Johan Ackermann giving a host of new faces the chance to impress him.
Nomad flyhalf Lionel Cronje will start his first game for the Lions, linking up with Michael Bondesio in the halfbacks. JC Janse van Rensburg will lead the side against the 20th ranked Russians hoping to prepare themselves to take up the reigns as the fifth South African Super Rugby team again in 2014.
Bulls loosie Warwick Tecklenburg gets his first start in Lions colours, making the move across the Juksei at the end of last season, after an impressive start to his playing career at the Bulls. The centre combination of Harold Vorster and Stokkies Hanekom is an unknown quantity, but they are surrounded by Lions Anthony Volmink, Deon Helberg and the talented Andries Coetzee at fullback.
Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (c).
Reserves: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Jacques Kotze, 19 Hugo Kloppers, 20 Claude Tshibidi, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Ruhan Nel.Tweet