The Lions will field their strongest pack of forwards thus far in the Currie Cup when they host Griquas.
Durban – The Lions will field their strongest pack of forwards thus far in the Currie Cup when they host Griquas at Wits University on Thursday (2pm).
While the Lions are continuing with their policy of having two distinctive squads for the domestic competition and the United Rugby Championship, they are allowing some of their star players to get game time after injury/illness breaks, and that means they have a powerful front row in Carlu Sadie, Jaco Visagie and JP Smith.
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Sadie is arguably the strongest tighthead in the URC and was a late withdrawal from his team’s match against the Sharks last week.
Visagie and Burger Odendaal were withdrawn from the Lions team that played Edinburgh because of Covid protocols but while Odendaal is not yet back, Visagie is.
The latter has recently signed a new deal with the union and Currie Cup coach Mziwakhe Nkosi will be hoping Visagie and Sadie can play major roles in his team turning around a seven-match losing streak.
Flank Sibusiso Sangweni has joined Sasko Ndlovu and Jarod Cairns in the back row, while Henco van Wyk, who scored his first United Rugby Championship try against the Sharks, starts in midfield alongside James Mollentze, while the Nkosi has opted for a flyhalf in Tiaan Swanepoel at fullback.
Nkosi will be able to call on the experience of Jannie du Plessis and Fred Zeilinga from the bench.
Lions Starting XV (15-1): Tiaan Swanepoel, Boldwin Hansen, Henco van Wyk, James Mollentze, Zeilinga Strydom, Luke Rossouw, André Warner, Jarod Cairns, Sibusiso Sangweni, Sasko Ndlovu, Cal Smid, Junior White, Carlu Sadie, Jaco Visagie, JP Smith. Bench (16-23): Darnell Osowagu, Banele Mthenjane, Jannie du Plessis, Henk Gouws, Lindo Ncusane, Jurich Classens, Fred Zeilinga, Ngia Selengbe.