Lions seek continuity heading into clash with Sharks

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The Lions are eager to continue their run of good form as they meet the Sharks in Currie Cup action on Saturday 19 December.

The hosts come into the clash at Ellis Park off the back of a big win against the Cheetahs that firmed their position in the top four.

Fitness scares

Late calls will be made on the fitness of Sti Sithole and Vincent Tshituka who are in a race to be passed fit. Dylan Smith will slot into the front row if Sithole is not cleared while Tshituka’s understudy is Wilhelm van der Sluys.

Cash van Rooyen makes three changes amongst the replacements, with Wiehahn Herbst (prop), Burger Odendaal (centre) and Jamba Ulengo (wing) coming in for Smith, Van der Sluys and former Junior Springbok Manuel Rass (centre) respectively.

Van Rooyen has lauded the impact of the old dogs in the pack, Jannie du Plessis and Willem Alberts. The former Springboks have rolled back the years to keep the Lions in the hunt for the Currie Cup semi-finals.

“They were like good red wine; Jaco played well, Willem was very good and so was Jannie,” said Van Rooyen after the victory over the Cheetahs.

“I think we had a good week and the message was clear, they understood the way we wanted to play and were excited about it,” he added.

“We have another big game at home this weekend against the Sharks who showed their quality against the Bulls,” said Van Rooyen.

“After that we play away against the Bulls and the Pumas, so the Currie Cup has come alive.

“It was nice to sit upstairs and see the guys express themselves a bit.

“I think it started up front for us; they really did well and laid a good platform. And, to see tight forwards like Jannie scoring a try was very pleasing.

“I think it also shows in the way that guys like Jaco, Willem and Jannie can still play at this stage (of their careers).”

Lions vs Sharks – Matchday squad

Lions: 15 Tiaan Swanepoel, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 André Warner, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka/Wilhelm van der Sluys, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole/Dylan Smith. Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Morné van den Berg, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Jamba Ulengo.

Match information – Xerox Lions v Cell C Sharks

Date: Saturday, 19 December 2020

Time: 19h00

Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg

Referee: Jaco Peyper

Assistant Referees: Cwengile Jadezweni and Aimee Barrett-Theron

TMO: Stuart Berry

TV: SuperSport Grandstand and Rugby

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