Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
23 May 2014
9:00 am

Coach rolls out new-look Lions

Rudolph Jacobs

Despite making a whopping 10 changes to his side yesterday, Lions coach Johan Ackermann said the team are still high on morale ahead of their final Super Rugby tour game against the Force in Perth tomorrow.

FILE PICTURE: Lions coach Johan Ackermann. Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

Ackermann changed his entire tight five in six changes up front and four at the back as the Lions try to get at least one win on tour.

“We have to believe that we ca
n pull it off,” he said from Perth. “The players are still motivated to win and have trained well in high spirits and a solid effort.” 

Ackermann changed his entire front row with Corne Fourie, Armand van der Merwe and Ruan Dreyer starting and loosehead Schalk van der Merwe getting a rest.

It is a first start for young hooker Armand van der Merwe, while Coetzee and Julian Redelinghuys gets a breather on the bench.

The new locks are Rudi Mathee and Franco Mostert – in for the injured MB Lusaseni and Martin Muller – while flank Warwick Tecklenburg is also promoted from the bench in place of Derick Minnie who has also returned home.

In the backline, Ross Cronje will start at scrumhalf, while Anthony Volmink comes in at left wing. 

Having just joined the squad, Alwyn Hollenbach starts at inside centre while Deon van Rensburg moves from wing to centre, with Coenie van Wyk the new fullback.

Ackermann admitted having to send home five players due to injury and calling up three others was not ideal preparation.