Home Sport Lions and Cheetahs beefed up for Bloemfontein catfight

Lions and Cheetahs beefed up for Bloemfontein catfight


The Cheetahs Frans Steyn will line up against the equally impressive specimen that is Dan Kriel of the Lions.

Frans Steyn of Toyota Cheetahs. Picture: Frikkie Kapp, Gallo Images

JOHANNESBURG – There will be some big units running into each other in the midfield when the Free State Cheetahs and Xerox Lions face each other in their Carling Currie Cup round 3 encounter this weekend.

In the right corner, wearing the orange of the Cheetahs and weighing in at around 110kg, double World Cup winner, the man with the massive boot, Frans Steyn will line up against the equally impressive specimen that is Dan Kriel in the red and white hooped jersey of the Johannesburg-based outfit.

Kriel is no Lilliputian when compared to Steyn, himself tipping the scales at an impressive 100kg-plus. The inclusion of the inside-centre in the matchup against the Free State is due to the in-form Burger Odendaal suffering from a tight calf, with Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen opting a risk-free approach in his selection. In comparison, the relative light-weight Manuel Rass, all 90kg of him, will act as cover on the bench.

The Bulls’ Joe van Zyl and The Lions’ Dan Kriel during the 2020 Super Rugby Unlocked game on November 7. Picture: Christiaan Kotze, BackpagePix

Scrumhalf André Warner will also make his first appearance for the Lions this season, replacing Ross Cronjé, while the busy-body that is Morné van den Berg will remain on the bench. This, Van Rooyen explained, was due to the team’s rotation policy. So too will the side welcome Jannie du Plessis back at loose-head as he replaces Ruan Dreyer, who had a tough and unenviable task of subduing a Springbok-laden Western Province front-row last week.

Meanwhile, Cheetahs coach Hawies Fouche also made a couple of changes to his side for the game in Bloemfontein. Jacques du Toit moves into the starting berth at hooker, replacing the departing Reinach Venter, while the now starting Aidon Davis and Victor Sekekete will swap at flank. On the wings William Small-Smith and Malcolm Jaer will run out for the Cheetahs to quell the growing threat of Stean Pienaar and the wily experience of Springbok Courtnall Skosan.

The game kicks off at 4.30pm tomorrow.

Lions Starting XV (15-1): Tiann Swanepoel, Stean Pienaar, Wandislile Simelane, Dan Kriel, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, André Warner, Lyn Massyn, Vincent Tshituka, Jaco Kriel, Marvin Orie, Willem Alberts, Jannie du plessis, Jaco Visagie, Sti Sithole. Bench: Jan-Henning Campher, Dylan Smith, Ruan Dreyer, Reinhard Nothnagel, Wilhelm can der Sluys, Morné van den Berg, Manuel Rass, Roelof Smit

Cheetahs Starting XV (15-1): Clayton Blommetjies, William Small-Smith, Howard Mnisi, Frans Steyn, Malcolm Jaer, Tian Schoeman, Tian Meyer, Jeandré Rudolph, Aidon Davis, Andisa Ntsila, Carl Wegner (capt), Ian Groenewald, Khutha Mchunu, Jacques du Toit, Boan Venter. Bench: Marnus van der Merwe, Cameron Dawson, Erich de Jager, Reniel Hugo, Victor Sekekete, Ruben de Haas, Reinhardt Fortuin, Dries Swanepoel