Faf gets a breather

04 May 2017 - 15:15 By Liam Del Carme
Faf de Klerk during the South African national rugby team training session at Cape Town Stadium on June 09, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Faf de Klerk during the South African national rugby team training session at Cape Town Stadium on June 09, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

Finding form against one of the weakest teams in Super Rugby has been deprived Faf de Klerk‚ who has been rested for the Lions' match against the Rebels on Saturday.

De Klerk's omission is one of three 'rotational' switches from the Lions starting line-up that beat the Western Force in Perth last week.

The scrumhalf makes way for Ross Cronjé‚ while Dillon Smit will start from the bench.

In the second row coach Johan Ackermann has opted for the greater mobility of Lourens Erasmus over the bulk of Andries Ferreira who also drops out of the match day squad‚ as does Ruan Ackermann who is replaced by Cyle Brink at flank.

There may also have been the temptation to rest the seemingly tireless captain Warren Whiteley‚ but sidelining him and Ackermann may have proved too disruptive.

All three players who have been left out of the squad have had to carry a big workload this season. De Klerk‚ for instance‚ has played in all nine of the Lions' Super Rugby matches.

  • How the South African sides will line up in Super Rugby this weekendThe Cheetahs may be finding their Super Rugby waters to be very choppy but the Lions‚ Sharks and the Southern Kings have been making hay in the early winter sunshine. 

The changes are not expected to break the Lions' stride. They are on a six-match winning streak and their only blemish this season came against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires in Round Three.

While the Lions will take momentum into the game‚ the Rebels are struggling to stay afloat.

Their very existence is under threat due to the reconfigured competition envisaged for next season‚ while their form this season has been abysmal.

After drawing with the Sharks‚ despite being one man better off for the bulk of the game‚ they last week copped a 44-3 beating at the hands of the Southern Kings.

They are also beset by injury which further lengthens the odds on them causing an upset against last year's finalists.

The Lions team to play the Rebels - Andries Coetzee; Sylvian Mahuza‚ Lionel Mapoe‚ Harold Vorster‚ Courtnall Skosan; Elton Jantjies‚ Ross Cronjé; Warren Whiteley (captain)‚ Cyle Brink‚ Kwagga Smith; Franco Mostert‚ Lourens Erasmus; Ruan Dreyer‚ Malcolm Marx‚ Jacques van Rooyen. Substitutes: Akker van der Merwe‚ Corné Fourie‚ Hencus van Wyk‚ Ruan Ackermann‚ Robert Kruger; Dillon Smit‚ Jacques Nel‚ Anthony Volmink - TMG Digital/TMG Sport

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