The Lions have named their side to face the Sharks at Growthpoint Kings Park this weekend, with a few changes in the backline offsetting an almost unchanged forward pack.
In perhaps the biggest switch, leading points scorer Marnitz Boshoff has been moved to full back, as Ackermann gambles on Elton Jantjies at flyhalf. Jantjies has proved a real thorn in the Sharks’ flesh in the past and you can understand the coach’s thinking in terms of wanting to bring back a little bit of that free-running panache to the backline, but backing a player who has been out with injury for so long in such a big game certainly does seem risky.
Chrysander Botha shifts to left wing from fullback, with Deon van Rensburg taking over from JW Jonker at outside centre. Ruan Combrinck switches wings in the final change to the starting team.
Willie Wepenar takes over from Robbie Coetzee at hooker in the only change to the pack.
Lions: 15 Marnitz Boshoff, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Deon van Rensburg, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Chrysander Botha, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Franco Mostert, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 20 Willie Britz, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 JW Jonker, 23 Coenie van Wyk.