In one of a whopping seven changes to the side, Kriel was yesterday included in the place of Warwick Tecklenburg, who drops to the bench for the away Currie Cup meeting with Griquas at GWK Park in Kimberley tomorrow.
The Lions lost both their games against the Peacock Blues last season, Griquas winning 42-32 at Ellis Park and 37-21 in Kimberley.
Having digested the team’s shortcomings in last weekend’s 31-31 draw with Western Province, coach Johan Ackermann also moved the energetic Willie Britz back to No 8 from lock at the expense of Lambert Groenewald, who drops out of the match day squad.
“I am very proud of the character shown by the guys last weekend, but I had mixed feelings about the draw,” said Ackermann.
“The penalty try was a bonus, and at one stage I thought we might get five points from the game, but then had to settle for three, which I’m very happy about after the start we had.”
To accommodate Britz’ rotational move Ackermann has opted for Lions Under-21 lock Ruan Venter to start with the seasoned Springbok Franco van der Merwe to show him the ropes.
With prop CJ van der Linde needed to make an impact later, Jacques van Rooyen will start ahead of Van der Linde, who drops to the bench.