Lions name changed lineup for URC outing against Munster in Cork
There are several new faces in the side following the team's big loss against the Stormers in Cape Town last weekend.
Morne van den Berg will wear the Lions No 9 jersey against Munster. Picture: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images
Emile van Heerden, son of former Springbok Fritz, will make his debut for the Lions when the Joburg-based side tackle Munster in a United Rugby Championship match at Musgrave Park in Ireland on Friday.
Van Heerden, 22, who previously played for the Sharks and Junior Boks, will form a new-look loose-trio with Jarod Cairns and Emmanuel Tshituka.
There are also other changes to the side that was beaten by the Stormers a week ago.
In the locks, Ruan Venter partners Darrien Landsberg, who previously played in the back-row, while Stean Pienaar and Morne van den Berg get starts.
On the bench, recently signed hooker Michael van Vuuren will get a chance to make an impact.
Centre Marius Louw will continue to lead the side in the absence of the injured Reinhard Nothnagel.
“Friday will be a good test for our guys against Munster,” said scrum coach Julian Redelinghuys.
“The Munster pack has been in good form recently, so Friday will be an exciting challenge for this team, especially the guys who’ll be getting an opportunity to feature.
“We all know you don’t grow when it’s easy, you grow when it’s tough and Friday will be tough especially in these conditions away from home.”
Playing at Musgrave Park in Cork will be a new experience for every Lions player, which will make thee challenge just a little more daunting.
“None of our current squad members have played there. In saying that, we tend to strive under the new and unknown so this will certainly be one of those,” said Redelinghuys.
Kick-off is at 9.35pm Friday.
Lions: Quan Horn, Stean Pienaar, Henco van Wyk, Mariuss Louw, Edwill van der Merwe, Jordan Hendrickse, Morne van den Berg, Emmanuel Tshituka, Emile van Heerden, Jarod Cairns, Darrien Landsberg, Ruan Venter, Asenathi Ntlabakanye, PJ Botha, JP Smith. Bench: Michael van Vuuren, Morgan Naude, Ruan Smith, Willem Alberts, Sibusiso Sangweni, Andre Warner, Gianni Lombard, Manuel Rass