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Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Warren Whiteley © Gallo Images

Lions stick to tried and trusted

It was an easy choice – a “copy and paste” as coach Swys de Bruin put it as he named his side to face off with the Jaguares in their Vodacom Super Rugby match at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday.

In fact, so easy that the bulk of the players selected a week ago returned to the team sheet – with just one change.

Actually two, as Andries Ferreira pulled out before kickoff with a stomach bug last week, and now returns for the team in the position he was selected in while this week De Bruin has decided that he needs scrumhalf cover off the bench.

That means Marco Jansen van Vuren will take his place for a potential Super Rugby debut, and with big things expected from the halfback, it will be interesting to watch.

Still there are concerns for the low-key Lions team that does its talking on the field, one being the lineout, something that Warren Whiteley believes comes down to patience.

“We were probably just a bit slow, to be honest. We were slow, slow to react. A couple of our calls weren’t good decisions. We’ve worked on that this week, particularly today. We’ve worked on our speed and reactions and it defititely looks a lot better. I’m confident it will be a lot better this weekend,” he added.

De Bruin is confident the team know what to expect, and have taken note of the comeback by the Jaguares against the Stormers last week.

“Honestly what they showed in the curtain-raisers and in the game against the Stormers is what we prepared for. We have to be prepared if they do change a little bit here and there, but that is what we do. We anticipate they might change here or there but we know what we are going to get. Or we think we know what we are going to get.”

Either way, the Lions believe they have the firepower to match anything the Jaguares bring and De Bruin is confident the team will be able to meet the Argentine challenge.

Team: Andries Coetzee, Sylvian Mahuza, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje, Warren Whiteley (captain), Cyle Brink, Kwagga Smith, Franco Mostert, Andries Ferreira, Ruan Dreyer, Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen.

Replacements: Robbie Coetzee, Dylan Smith, Jacobie Adriaanse, Lourens Erasmus, Hacjivah Dayimani, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Howard Mnisi, Rohan Janse van Rensburg.


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