Last week it was Howard Mnisi who returned to the Shark tank – in opposition colours – to terrorise his former teammates in midfield. This time around, another local boy will be asked to do the same for the Lions.
In a bitter blow to the visitors’ hopes, dangerous outside center Stokkies Hanekom has been ruled out for upwards of a month, due to a battery of injuries sustained against the Cheetahs last week. Into his position comes 22-year-old Robert de Bruyn, a former SA Schools player who last donned the black and white at Craven Week level, as a product of Michaelhouse School. He played in that side along with one Patrick Jonathan Lambie, as well as a flanker by the name of Brynard Stander, who is likely to be on the opposite side on Friday.
A number of other boys will be more than a little familiar with the Kings Park turf; scrumhalf Guy Cronje has played Currie Cup rugby for the Sharks in the number 10 jersey, while replacements Lambert Groenewald and Tian Meyer both came up through the age group ranks and have been part of Sharks Super Rugby squads in past.
Johan Ackermann has made a number of other changes to the side, opting to shift Marnitz Boshoff from flyhalf to fullback, thus bringing Elton Jantjies into the starting lineup at 10. Chrysander Botha moves to the bench, where he’ll be joined by Lionel Cronje. Up front, Anton van Zyl’s younger brother Chris replaces Stephan Greeff at lock, while a switch in the loose trio sees Derick Minnie move to blindside flank to make room for Jaco Kriel on the open; Warwick Tecklenburg is benched this week.
Golden Lions: 15 Marnitz Boshoff, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Robert de Bruyn, 12 Dylan des Fountain, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Guy Cronje, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Derick Minnie (captain), 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Lambert Groenewald, 19 Warwick Tecklenburg, 20 Tian Meyer, 21 Lionel Cronje, 22 Chrysander Botha