The Lions coach has made four tweaks to his starting team to take on the Waratahs.
Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen has made four changes to his starting team for tomorrow’s Super Rugby match against the Waratahs in Sydney (10.15am SA time kick-off). Jacques van der Westhuyzen gives his thoughts on the four new men in the run-on side
The 30-year-old winger will make his first Super Rugby start for the Lions since joining the franchise at the end of last year.
While he played in the pre-season Superhero Sunday clash against the Bulls, he picked up a minor niggle in that game and hasn’t played since.
He takes the place of Courtnall Skosan, who sits out completely this week in a rotational switch.
Ulengo’s pace and power out wide could be a boost against a young and largely inexperienced Waratahs team struggling for form.
Ulengo will be keen to make the most of this opportunity.
The rookie tighthead was a revelation for the Lions while on loan from the Stormers last year and he’ll hope to make as big an impact in 2020.
He gets his first start this week, in place of 37-year-old Jannie du Plessis, who started all three the Lions’ previous games.
After a rocky few weeks in the scrums, Sadie will have it all to do to get his team’s set-piece firing again.
He will hope to bring strength, power and stability to the scrum – something that has been lacking this season, but which has been a key element of the Lions’ success in the recnt past.
The former Bulls scrumhalf played – and scored the only try – against the Jaguares in the Lions’ opening game of this year’s campaign, but missed the last two games because of injury.
He is now back in the No 9 jersey in place of Morne van den Berg, who’s on the bench, the Lions brains-trust opting for a bit more experience at scrumhalf for this week’s match.
Highly-rated by the coaching team, Warner’s strong kicking game and swift distribution will be key for the Lions, who’ll be keen to bag a first-up win on this four-match tour.
The 23-year-old hooker also gets his first start of the year, replacing Pieter Jansen in the middle of the front row.
Like so many in the Lions team, Campher is still a youngster, who’s played only 11 games for the Lions, but with the Joburg side having struggled somewhat at scrum time and in the line-outs up to now, it was almost inevitable that changes were going to be made in the front-row.
While Campher’s not the biggest and most intimidating hooker you’ll find, he’s a grafter who does the basics well, and that’s what the Lions will need against the Tahs.
Waratahs (15-1): Kurtley Beale, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Alex Newsome, Karmichael Hunt, Jack Maddocks, Will Harrison, Jake Gordon, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper, Lachie Swinton, Rob Simmons, Tom Staniforth, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Robbie Abel, Angus Bell. Bench: Damien Fitzpatrick, Tom Robertson, Tetera Daulkner, Jed Holloway, Ryan McCauley, Mitch Short, Lalakai Foketi, James Ramm
Lions (15-1): Andries Coetzee, Tyrone Green, Manny Rass, Dan Kriel, Jamba Ulengo, Elton Jantjies (capt), Andre Warner, Len Massyn, Vincent Tshituka, Marnus Schoeman, Marvin Orie, Ruben Schoeman, Carlu Sadie, Jan-Henning Campher, Dylan Smith. Bench: Pieter Jansen, Sti Sithole, Frans van Wyk, Willem Alberts, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Hacjivah Dayimani, Morne van den Berg, Wandisile Simelane