Lions skipper Elton Jantjies made a full recovery after his injury scare last week when he sustained a calf injury during training.
Jantjies will captain the Lions against Griquas on Friday evening (19:00) at Ellis Park in the first home-game for the Johannesburg based side in Super Rugby Unlocked.
Ready to go
The starting line-up sees Gianni Lombard named in the number 15 jersey while Stean Pienaar and Courtnall Skosan will patrol the side-lines as the Lions starting wings.
Wandisile Simelane will join forces with Dan Kriel in the centres and highly-rated young loose-forward MJ Pelser gets the nod as flank.
PJ Botha, Ruan Dreyer, Jannie du Plessis, Reinhard Nothnagel, Jaco Kriel, Ross Cronjé, Burger Odendaal and Tiaan Swanepoel are set to get a run for the first time in the 258 days since the previous match on home-soil from the bench.
SA Rugby confirmed that following consultation with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the Super Rugby Unlocked match between the Lions and the Griquas can go ahead.
This follows last weekend’s Super Rugby Unlocked match between the Lions and the Cheetahs being called off in line with COVID-19 protocols.
Griquas and the Lions both come into this match without a victory in two rounds of Super Rugby Unlocked action. The Lions suffered successive narrow defeats to the Sharks and Stormers away from home in the first two rounds. Their home debut scuppered last week, they will now have a chance to notch a first win against a Griquas team bound for the wooden spoon by all indications.
Super Rugby Unlocked will be decided on log position after seven rounds of the competition giving both sides plenty of ground to make up if they want to press for the trophy.
There have been plenty of positives for the Lions despite results not going their way, and they should be confident of a turnaround on Friday night.
Super Rugby Unlocked – Lions team
Starting XV: Gianni Lombard; Stean Pienaar, Wandisile Simelane, Dan Kriel, Courtnall Skosan; Elton Jantjies (captain), Morné van den Berg; Len Massyn, Vincent Tshituka, MJ Pelser, Marvin Orie, Ruben Schoeman, Carlu Sadie, Jaco Visagie, Sti Sithole. Reserves: PJ Botha, Ruan Dreyer, Jannie du Plessis, Reinhard Nothnagel, Jaco Kriel, Ross Cronjé, Burger Odendaal, Tiaan Swanepoel.
Match information – Lions vs Griquas
Date: Friday, 30 October
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron, Stuart Berry
Television Match Official: Jaco Peyper
TV: SuperSport Grandstand and Rugby