Franco van der Merwe returns to the Lions starting lineup in time for his 98th career Super Rugby cap. The side named by coach Johan Ackermann to face the Rebels on Friday night is probably as strong as the coach has been able to field this year.
New Bok Marnitz Boshoff is retained at flyhalf, with old Bok Elton Jantjies again doing bench duty. Changes at wing see Anthony Volminck and Deon van Rensburg come in, with Puma Coenie van Wyk continuing in the last line of defence.
Lions – 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Warren Whiteley (capt), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Franco Mostert, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Subs: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Jacques van Rooyen/Corné Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Willie Britz, 20 Derick Minnie, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Lionel Mapoe.