The Lions side boasts four changes for their last league outing against the Pumas in Witbank this Friday.
The Jo’burg team will only know on Saturday if they have played their final game of the season, when the remaing matches are completed and the final positions are confirmed. This could very well be the last time captain Wikus van Heerden, John Daniels and Grant Esterhuizen wear the famous red and white strip.
Esterhuizen, who heads off to Clermont-Montferrand in France at the conclusion of the competition, is given a final start and 50th cap ahead of 19 year old Louis Ludik, while veteran John Daniels also gets a run on the wing. Daniels currently sits on 65 tries, which equals Chris Badehorst’s record. One more will elevate him to the most prolific try-scorer in the Absa Currie Cup of all time.
Flanker Cobus Grobbelaar is rested to allow Franco van der Merwe some game time, and in the front row Springbok prop Lawrence Sephaka replaces Bertus Smit, who demolished Schalk Ferreira in the Lions victory over Vodacom Western Province.
Loose forward Russell Winter also makes a return to the squad, and should get game time in the second half. Having represented the Lions 62 times, he will bring a lot of experience to the young side.
Pumas: 15 JeandrÃ© Fourie, 14 Darryl Coeries, 13 BC du Plessis, 12 Arno Coetzee, 11 Sasha Marot, 10 Pieter BenadÃ©, 9 Neil Cole, 8 Bioplus van der Merwe, 7 Danzel Manuel, 6 CornÃ© Steenkamp, 5 Jacques Lombard, 4 Bokkie Swanepoel, 3 Pierre du Toit, 2 MornÃ© Kruger, 1 Sean Johnson. Reserves: 16 Ashton Constant, 17 Johan Prins, 18 Simon-Peter Blakeley, 19 Jonathan van der Schyff, 20 Ryan de la Harpe, 21 Lourens Dunn, 22 Oginga Siwundla.
Lions: 15 Earl Rose, 14 John Daniels, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Grant Esterhuizen, 10 Andre Pretorius, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pietie Ferreira, 7 Franco van der Merwe, 6 Wikus van Heerden (c), 5 Anton van Zyl, 4 Cobus Grobler, 3 Heinke van der Merwe, 2 Ethienne Reynecke, 1 Lawrence Sephaka. Reserves: 16 Riaan Kruger, 17 Bertus Smit, 18 Gordon Gilfillan, 19 Russell Winter, 20 Jaco van Schalkwyk, 21 Thobela Mdaka, 22 Louis Ludik.