Despite missing nine players on Springbok duty the Lions were able to name a strong 37-man Currie Cup squad on Wednesday.
And that list grew to 10 with flank Warwick Tecklenburg continuing with his Japan stint in between the Super Rugby break and later to be joined by Elton Jantjies, Lionel Mapoe and maybe Jaco Kriel, while Franco Mostert’s French deal still hangs in the balance.
With both captains, flank Jaco Kriel and No 8 Warren Whiteley, on Bok duty, coach Johan Ackermann could decide between hooker Robbie Coetzee, scrumhalf Ross Cronje and centre Howard Mnisi to lead the team in their defence of the trophy they won last year with an unbeaten run ending with a 32-24 win in the final over Western Province at Ellis Park.
Welcome inclusions are that of lock Andries Ferreira, who opted not to return to overseas duty, and flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff, who will only go to Ireland after the Currie Cup campaign.
Bok tourist and experienced hooker Robbie Coetzee also makes a welcome return after recovering from knee surgery.
After getting a bye last weekend because of their involvement in the Super Rugby Final, the Lions will open their campaign on Saturday against the Pumas at 3pm.
The Lions will announce their match-day squad on Thursday.
Xerox Golden Lions 2016 Currie Cup squad:
Jacques van Rooyen
Armand van der Merwe
Bobby de Wee
JP du Preez
Steph de Wit
Marco Janse van Vuren
Jaco van der Walt
Rohan Janse van Rensburg
Injured but might still play Currie Cup:
Injured and will miss Currie Cup:
Springboks and Japan:
Faf de Klerk