Limping Lions issue SOS to Super Rugby regulars to help rescue faltering Currie Cup campaign
In dire need of inspiration‚ the Lions have called on some of their Super Rugby regulars to help restore a Currie Cup campaign teetering on the brink.
Regular loosehead prop Jacques van Rooyen has been called up as tighthead and as captain‚ in the absence of Ruan Dreyer who was called up to the Bok squad earlier this week.
Ryan Kankowski who was the stand-in captain in recent weeks is out with a groin injury.
The man who did duty at tighthead last week‚ Johannes Jonker‚ drops to the bench.
In the second row Andries Ferreira will bring more grunt‚ while in-form centre Harold Vorster gets to wear the number 13 jersey next to Rohan Janse van Rensburg.
Kankowski makes way for Fabian Booysen who moves to number eight from flank.
Booysen's more confrontational approach is perhaps a better fit for Newlands.
Kankowski is not the only casualty from last week.
Scrumhalf Dillon Smit‚ who provided much of their first half spark last Saturday‚ faces a lengthy lay-off with a broken ankle.
The rangy Marco Jansen van Vuuren comes in for Smit.
Utility forward Robert Kruger who is struggling with bronchitis‚ has been earmarked to do duty on the side of the scrum. He has until Thursday to prove his fitness.
At the start of the week the Lions perhaps anticipated more changes but they will have hooker Robbie Coetzee and Janse van Rensburg available for the clash.
Coetzee kicked Jacques Vermeulen in the face when the Sharks flanker crossed for a try last weekend and was red carded for the indiscretion.
A disciplinary hearing‚ however‚ found that his actions weren't deliberate and no further sanction was imposed.
Coetzee‚ whose actions irrevocably changed the course of that match‚ was perhaps fortunate to escape further punishment. He was red carded earlier this season in Super Rugby when the Lions beat the Kings at Ellis Park.
He doesn't play with harmful intent but some of his actions have been reckless.
A potentially dangerous tackle from Janse van Rensburg came under the microscope but no further action was deemed necessary.
Although coach Swys de Bruin has bolstered his squad his options are limited after losing seven players to national duty and defections to north during the Currie Cup.
The Lions have some catching up to do following their defeat to the Sharks.
It was their third of the campaign following setbacks in Nelspruit and Pretoria and they now need to chalk some away wins to get back into contention.
The Lions are second last in the seven- team Currie Cup‚ just two points behind Western Province who have won two of their four matches.
Lions team to play Western Province: Sylvian Mahuza; Madosh Tambwe‚ Harold Vorster‚ Rohan Janse van Rensburg‚ Anthony Volmink; Jaco van der Walt‚ Marco Jansen van Vuuren; Fabian Booysen‚ Robert Kruger‚ Cyle Brink; Marvin Orie‚ Andries Ferreira; Jacques van Rooyen (captain)‚ Robbie Coetzee‚ Corne Fourie.
Substitutes: Michael Willemse‚ Johannes Jonker‚ Rhyno Herbst‚ Hacjivah Dayimani; Jack Hart‚ Siya Masuku‚ Aphiwe Dyantyi