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Sylvian Mahuza © Gallo Images

Lions ring the changes

The Emirates Lions made eight changes to the side that beat the Sunwolves by two points last week as they attempt to get their first ever win in Buenos Aires on Saturday against the Jaguares.

The Lions have had a tough two weeks, losing in the last two minutes against the Blues and then having to dig deep to beat the Sunwolves as they now head to a place they haven’t won in the last few seasons since the Jaguares joined Super Rugby.

The eight changes include a rest for Malcolm Marx, the SA Rugby Player of the year, who moves to the bench, while there is a return for Sylvian Mahuza on the wing, and replacements for Jacobie Adriaanse, Andries Ferreira and Ross Cronje. All three are injured and did not make the trip to Buenos Aires.

Coach Swys de Bruin said the changes were “nothing drastic” but it is clear the Lions are playing their strongest possible team to get the points needed to stay ahead of the pack.

“We are making one or two changes, nothing drastic. It is more or less how we played two, three weeks ago with some of the guys. We are playing Jacques van Rooyen again, with Dylan (Smith) taking over,” De Bruin said in the team announcement.

“We’re giving Robbie (Coetzee) a run because Malcolm (Marx) needs a rest and will come off the bench. We couldn’t start with Andries Ferreira as he is still injured along with Jacobie and Ross.

“We are looking to give Robert Kruger a run at seven. He trained very well and he had a run when he came on. Kwagga will move to eight. We trained a lot like that and we played Currie Cup like that, so he will be used to it.

“At the backs, we are going to start with Marco, because of Ross’s injury. We will play Trokkie (Rohan Janse van Rensburg) at 12 and Sylvian will move back at the wing.”

The game will be televised on SuperSport at 9:30pm (GMT+2, CAT) on Saturday evening.

Emirates Lions: Andries Coetzee, Sylvian Mahuza, Lionel Mapoe, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Elton Jantjies, Marco Janse van Vuren, Kwagga Smith, Robert Kruger, Cyle Brink, Franco Mostert, Marvin Orie, Ruan Dreyer, Robbie Coetzee, Jacques van Rooyen.

Reserves: Malcolm Marx, Dylan Smith, Johannes Jonker, Lourens Erasmus, Len Massyn, Dillon Smit, Howard Mnisi, Shaun Reynolds.


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