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By Sports Reporter


Lions make one change for Racing 92 challenge

Asked about the pressure going into the knockout match, Loubscher suggested that the pressure could be on the French side.

The Lions have made just one change to the side that beat Benetton in their United Rugby Championship match in Treviso last weekend, as they welcome French giants Racing 92 for their last 16 Challenge Cup clash at Ellis Park on Saturday evening (kick-off 6:30pm).

Lock Reinhard Nothnagel is the only change to the starting 15 as he comes in and Ruben Schoeman drops to the bench, as head coach Ivan van Rooyen looks to rely on the momentum his troops have gathered over the past three URC games where they’ve picked up a treble of wins.

ALSO READ: Lions have ‘confidence, momentum’ going into Racing 92 clash

 Earlier this week, the team’s backline and attack guru Ricardo Loubscher spoke about how they will approach Saturday’s knockout fixture.

“The biggest thing with them is that, if you look at the French national team and how they play, you can see that style of play filtering down to the domestic clubs,” explained Loubscher.

“From our point of view, we want to focus on ourselves, but we know that they are a dangerous side. It’s all about expecting the unexpected.

“We need to prepare for a massive kicking game as well as a team that is willing to run from their own 22m line. It’s hard to prepare for that but from our point of view, it’s important that we are ready for anything they throw at us on Saturday.”

Pressure game

Asked about the pressure going into the knockout match, Loubscher suggested that the pressure could perhaps be on the French side ahead of the game.

“There’s great buzz within the camp. We took a lot of confidence out of the last few games in terms of just getting momentum. For this week, we see it as just another game,” said Loubscher.

“The big thing for us is to just take one more step forward in terms of how we want to play. We want to make sure that we force our strengths onto them. So let’s see, maybe we can put them under pressure with our ball-in-hand style as well as our kicking game.”

Lions: Quan Horn, Rabz Maxwane, Manuel Rass, Marius Louw (c), Edwill van der Merwe, Gianni Lombard, Sanele Nohamba, Francke Horn, Ruan Venter, Emmanuel Tshituka, Reinhard Nothnagel, Willem Alberts, Asenathi Ntlabakanye, PJ Botha, JP Smith

Bench: Morne Brandon, Rhynardt Rijnsburger, Ruan Dreyer, Ruben Schoeman, Travis Gordon, Morne van den Berg, Rynhardt Jonker, Andries Coetzee

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