Lions welcome back big guns

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Lions, Original Content, Super Rugby, Vodacom Cup on 30 Jan 2014 at 12:23
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

A number of frontline players who missed out when the Lions played a set of warm-up matches against the Leoaprds and PUK last week, return to action as coach Johan Ackermann names a strong side to face the Southern Kings.

The likes of Andries Coetzee, Lionel Mapoe, Michael Bondesio, Warren Whiteley and Franco van der Merwe will all be in action, while there’s also a welcome return for yet another former Sharks junior prop, as Julian Redelinghuys starts in the number 3 jersey. Pumas players Stefan Watermeyer (inside centre) and Rudi Matthee (lock) both appear to be in strong contention for important roles with the Lions when the final Super Rugby squad is announced early next month.

A third Puma, JW Jonker, has been included on the bench, as has another former Sharks age-group player, flyhalf Willie du Plessis, who will share the pivot duties with Marnitz Boshoff whilst Elton Jantjies continues to recover from off-season surgery.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Chrysander Botha, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Rudi Matthee, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Corne Fourie, 19 Willie Britz, 20 Warwick Tecklenburg, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Willie du Plessis, 23 JW Jonker.

Meanwhile, a second-string Lions selection to face the Blue Bulls in Polokwane has also been named. A number of Lions stalwarts, including Deon van Rensburg, Stokkies Hanekom and Alwyn Hollenbach, find themselves somewhat surprisingly named in this side. Former Sharks junior halfbacks Guy and Ross Cronje will team up once more, with the former, somewhat surprisingly, named as captain. It was scrumhalf Ross who wore the armband when the pair guided a strong Sharks under 19 side to an age-group trophy back in 2008.

Golden Lions: 15 Ruan Combrinck, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Nicolaas Hanekom, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Vainon Willis, 10 Guy Cronje (captain), 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Stephan de Witt, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Jacobus Roux, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements – from: Mark Pretorius, David Kounga, Pieter Vorster, MB Lusaseni, Lourens Erasmus, Lambert Groenewald, Jano Venter, Ricky Schroeder, Kobus de Kock, Deon Helberg, Brendon Hewitt.


  • Pumas players: Watermeyer, Matthee, Corne Fourie, Faf de Klerk. JW Jonker now plays his club rugby in Joburg therefore an ex-Puma.

    Some of the first choice players in the VC team have just come back from injury and JA is also looking to give some newbies and the Pumas another opportunity to play themselves into the SR squad

  • Comment 1, posted at 30.01.14 12:28:39 by Baylion Reply
  • Feels like jw jonker have been around for ages

  • Comment 2, posted at 30.01.14 12:59:01 by KingsArmy Reply
  • Go Lions, good time to test out the combinations

  • Comment 3, posted at 30.01.14 14:09:40 by Mutley Reply
  • Stokkies Hanekom should have walked the 13 spot, he is a quality centre

    What has happened to Baby Bok lock Ruan Venter?

  • Comment 4, posted at 30.01.14 14:18:34 by Saffex Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 4) : Who the hell is Ruan Venter?

    Shit man, the Lions just simply have too many Ruans!

  • Comment 5, posted at 30.01.14 14:27:44 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Guess it`s time to have my eyes tested . . .

    Looking and looking but don`t see these Big Guns Rob`s talking about . . . 😯

  • Comment 6, posted at 30.01.14 14:47:26 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Here goes, he played for the Lions at the end of the CC, is always injured and certainly bigger than the 108kg stated

  • Comment 7, posted at 30.01.14 14:48:46 by Saffex Reply

  • Just pressed F5 and I have Jim back!!

  • Comment 8, posted at 30.01.14 14:49:25 by Saffex Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 7) : ok…. can’t say I recognise or remember him.

  • Comment 9, posted at 30.01.14 14:54:16 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 6) : I’m trying this new thing where I only write nice things about other teams.

    I give it about another day and a half

  • Comment 10, posted at 30.01.14 14:54:43 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Saffex (Comment 7) : He is a solid enough player nothing special but thought he would be in the picture given the lack of quality locks at the Lions

    I think he was in the same Baby Bok squad as Etzebeth, was the bench lock for that side, if memory serves me correctly. Has had injury problems

  • Comment 11, posted at 30.01.14 14:58:09 by Saffex Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : LOL, I guess I should ease up on the chirping for now anyway. Got to pace myself. There`s a whole super 15 season to look forward to! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 12, posted at 30.01.14 15:12:22 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Saffex (Comment 11) : @robdylan (Comment 10) :

    On the contrary Ruan Venter was regarded as having a big future as a youngster but has failed to develop to his full potential largely through injury. I don’t think that he has finished a season since the U20 WC when he picked up his knee injury.

    He was the number one lock in his U19 year at the Lions in a group that won the U19 CC and included Paul Willemse (Bulls), Ruan Botha (Stormers) and Ettiene Oosthuizen. He was also, as an U19, Etsebeth’s starting lock partner at the U20 WC in Italy that year. He started against Ireland and England in the pool games before injuring his knee 20mins into the England game ending his WC and season. If memory serves jean Cook who was essentially a lock/flank took over the locking duties.

    Willemse and Ruan Botha were the lock pairing the following year in CT in their U20 year although Dawie Theron gave Venter every opportunity to get fit in time to make the tournament.

    The last time he weighed 108kg was probably when he was 16. He and Willemse locked the Monnas scrum in their matric year (when Venter played SA Schools) and they must have been a frightening sight at that level 😆

  • Comment 13, posted at 30.01.14 15:52:09 by steve Reply

  • Is venter the one that looks like a mini kobus wiese??

  • Comment 14, posted at 30.01.14 17:28:06 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @KingsArmy (Comment 14) : I suspect that that is Paul Willemse – I’ve heard commentators describe him as such although I don’t know that “mini” is appropriate – Kobus weighed in at around 120kg in his playing days. I think Willemse was 130kg+ at Craven Week and has since slimmed down to around 127kg. At 2m he is also slightly taller than Kobus.

  • Comment 15, posted at 30.01.14 22:29:52 by steve Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 4) : Stokkies is still coming back from injury which is why he’s playing with the VC squad, same as Combrinck, van Rensburg, Hollenbach etc. to give them more game time. The “A” team is being used as trials for the Pumas players and newbies

  • Comment 16, posted at 30.01.14 23:24:57 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 16) : Stokkies Hannekom and Stefan Watermeyer could make a lethal centre combo with Janjies at 10 and Combrinck at 15. Mapoe and Volmink on the wings. Bondesio at 9. Thats the making of a very decent backline. Lions have sum good loosies as well. Its only the depth thats a concern

  • Comment 17, posted at 31.01.14 08:10:22 by SheldonK Reply

  • Anyone have an update at all?

    Rugby Starved here . . .

  • Comment 18, posted at 01.02.14 17:02:50 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 18) : Lions won 19-12

  • Comment 19, posted at 01.02.14 19:29:26 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.