Taute back for Lions
In a week of players returning from injury, the MTN Golden Lions added their own bit of good news for the greater scope of SA Rugby when fullback Jaco Taute’s name appeared on the teamsheet for this weekend’s Absa Currie Cup match against the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
Taute, who has been out of action for several months with a shoulder injury, returns to the bench and is likely to make a
second-half appearance as he works his way back into form again, with a possible Bok call-up likely in the near future.
The news is good for coach Johan Ackermann, who still made eight changes to the side that lost to Griquas, ensuring that all his players know their performance was not acceptable under his regime.
Hendrik Roodt returns from concussion to replace Josh Strauss, the latter who is also missing the game because of a head knock while Alwyn Hollenbach also makes a return from injury to replace Butch James in the midfield.
Deon Helberg, the former Blue Bulls and SA Sevens winger, makes his first start on the right wing, replacing JR Esterhuizen, while on the other wing Ruan Combrinck is in for Anthony Volmink.
Michael Bondesio is at scrumhalf again, while Cobus “Baywatch” Grobbelaar replaces Jaco Kriel at flank and Callie Visagie replaces Bandise Maku at hooker.
The final change to the starting line-up sees Jacobie Adriaanse in at tighthead, with CJ van der Linde dropping to the bench.
However, with both the Lions and Blue Bulls having lost their previous games, it will be important for both sides not to drop another game, with more pressure currently being on the Blue Bulls, who lost to Western Province 42-6 on the weekend.
MTN Golden Lions: 15. Andries Coetzee, 14.Deon Helberg,13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Alwyn Hollenbach, 11. Ruan Combrinck, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Michael Bondesio, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Willie Britz, 6. Cobus Grobbelaar, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Hendrik Roodt, 3. Jacobie Adriaanse, 2. Callie Visagie, 1. JC Janse van Rensburg (capt.).
Replacements: 16. Bandise Maku, 17. CJ van der Linde, 18. Michael Rhodes, 19. Jaco Kriel, 20. Ross Cronjé, 21. Butch James, 22. Jaco Taute.