Lions coach Johan Ackermann has opted to entrust former Bulls youngster (and cougar-bait) Deon Helberg with the vacant number 13 jersey for this week’s Currie Cup match, against the side he represented as a youngster.
Helberg, who hit the news a few years back as part of a frankly ridiculous story relating to the consequences of banging your girlfriend and her mom at the same time, takes over from Robert de Bruyn, who picked up a serious injury against the Cheetahs last week. Michaelhouse will still have a man in the backline, though, with Ross Cronje taking over from Tian Meyer as the starting scrumhalf.
Ackermann has changed the pack too, with CJ van der Linde and Franco van der Merwe the only tight forwards to keep their starting spots. Bees Roux is gone – replaced by Ruan Dreyer – with hooker Robbie Coetzee and lock Stephan Greeff also promoted. Willie Britz is out this week, prompting a back-row reshuffle. Derick Minnie will captain the side from the back of the scrum this week, with Warwick Tecklenberg shifting to blindside to make space for Jaco Kriel in the number 6 jersey.
Two more former Sharks, Guy Cronje and Lambert Groenewald, feature on the bench.
Lions: 15 Marnitz Boshoff, 14 Andries Coetzee, 13 Deon Helberg, 12 Dylan des Fountain, 11 Anthony Volminck, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Derick Minnie (capt), 7 Warwick Tecklenberg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 CJ van der Linde
Replacement: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Lambert Groenewald, 20 Guy Cronje, 21 Lionel Cronje, 22 Ruhan Nel