Chrysander Botha, Marnitz Boshoff, Franco Mostert, Julian Redelinghuys, Robbie Coetzee and Schalk van der Merwe are all new to the toughest provincial competition in the world – which does not bode well for a team that struggles perennially.
“They can look back at what we did last year, but they don’t know what to expect and what level we will be, and what areas we will challenge them in,” said coach Johan Ackermann. “We hope that we can compete and don’t disappoint.”
“I think its probably better for us, it is a local derby and there is not a lot of travelling to do. Even our guys who make their debuts played for some province in that stadium, so in hindsight it is better to play all the South African derbies first, and get the temper and nervousness out of the way before we hit the Crusaders or Reds or whoever,” Ackermann explained.
LIONS TEAM: 15.Chrysander Botha, 14.Deon van Rensburg, 13.Lionel Mapoe, 12.Stefan Watermeyer, 11.Ruan Combinck, 10.Marnitz Boshoff, 9.Michael Bondesio, 8.Warren Whiteley ©, 7.Derick Minnie, 6.Jaco Kriel, 5.Franco van der Merwe, 4.Franco Mostert, 3.Julian Redelinghuys,2. Robbie Coetzee, 1.Schalk van der Merwe.
Reserves:16. Willie Wepener, 17.Jacques van Rooyen, 18.Ruan Dreyer, 19.Willie Britz, 20.Warwick Tecklenburg, 21.Faf de Klerk,22. Coenie van Wyk, 23.Alwyn Hollenbach.