Veteran former Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis has been asked to keep the Sharks’ much younger Ox Nche in check during their United Rugby Championship match in Durban on Saturday.
Du Plessis, who played 70 Tests for the Boks, has been recalled to the Lions team for the match at Kings Park. He will wear the No 3 jersey and go head to head with Nche, the 26-year-old rising star of Sharks and Springbok rugby.
The Lions go into the match having won four matches in a row in the competition, while the Sharks have had a mixed time of it of late, but remain among the URC playoff contenders.
Du Plessis, who turned 39 in November last year, knows Kings Park like the back of his hand, having spent several years playing for the Sharks before his move to Montpellier in 2015. In total, the tighthead specialist played 119 matches for the Sharks between 2008 and 2015.
Before that he played 69 times for the Cheetahs.
Young lock Reinhard Nothnagel will again lead the Lions in the absence of the unavailable Jaco Kriel and Burger Odendaal.
Talented flank forward Jarod Cairns, who’s shown consistent performances in this year’s Currie Cup could get his first opportunity at URC level from off the bench.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 4.05pm
Lions: Quan Horn, Rabz Maxwane, Wandisile Simelane, Manny Rass, Edwill van der Merwe, Jordan Hendrikse, Morne van den Berg, Emmanuel Tshituka, Vincent Tshituka, Francke Horn, Reinhard Nothnagel (capt), Ruben Schoeman, Jannie du Plessis, PJ Botha, Sti Sithole. Bench: Morne Brandon, JP Smith, Ruan Dreyer, Sibusiso Sangweni, Jarod Cairns, Andre Warner, Henco van Wyk, Tiaan Swanepoel