Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
17 Mar 2015
10:45 am

Lions wield the axe

Rudolph Jacobs

Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has wielded the axe and made a wholesome 10 changes to his starting line-up for Friday morning’s clash against the Rebels in Melbourne.

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

Ackermann named his side on Tuesday morning and only five players who started the game in the 34-6 loss to the Crusaders last weekend in Christchurch have been retained for this weekend’s match.

The players retained are centre Lionel Mapoe, wing Sampie Mastriet, who moves from left to right wing, flyhalf Elton Jantjies, who in a surprise move shifts to inside centre, captain and No 8 Warren Whiteley and blindside flanker Warwick Tecklenburg.

Ackermann has opted to rotate several players for the match, starting with an entire new frontrow in Schalk van der Merwe, Armand van der Merwe and Ruan Dreyer, with prop Van der Merwe getting his first game on tour after recovering from a stomach virus.

Loose forward Robert Kruger will start at lock, with Martin Muller dropping out of the squad entirely, while Derick Minnie has also been promoted to the starting line-up at flank, with Jaco Kriel rested on the bench.

In the backline, Faf de Klerk will start at scrumhalf with Marnitz Boshoff back in harmony linking up with him at flyhalf, while Courtnall Skosan fills the left wing berth for the first time on tour in the place of Ruan Combrinck, shifting Mastriet to right wing.

Jantjies will start at inside centre at the expense of Harold Vorster and Jaco van der Walt will start at fullback for the match, with Andries Coetzee dropping to the wood. Kick-off is at 10h40 South African time on Friday.

Lions: Jaco van der Walt, Sampie Mastriet, Lionel Mapoe, Elton Jantjies, Courtnall Skosan, Marnitz Boshoff, Faf de Klerk, Warren Whiteley (capt), Warwick Tecklenburg, Derick Minnie, Franco Mostert, Robert Kruger, Ruan Dreyer, Armand van der Merwe, Schalk van der Merwe.

Bench: Robbie Coetzee, Corne Fourie, Julian Redelinghuys, Andries Ferreira, Jaco Kriel, Ross Cronje, Harold Vorster, Andries Coetzee.