Lions change five

Chris Jonck and Gert Muller are the only unenforced changes to the Lions team to face the Blues on Friday.

As part of rotation scrumhalf Jonck and tighthead Muller get chances ahead of Jano Vermaak and Lawrence Sephaka.

‘Jano needs a break and Lawrence has a slight ankle niggle,’ coach Loffie Eloff told keo.co.za from Auckland.

Injuries to captain Baywatch Grobbelaar, centre Doppies la Grange and lock Jannes Labuschagne have ruled them out of the 22. Eloff confirmed the trio will all be available for next week’s fixture against the Reds.

Grobbelaar’s ankle ailment results in a loose forward shuffle with Willem Alberts included in his favoured No 8 position and Ernst Joubert shifting to flank.

Making his run-on debut Deon van Rensburg has been tasked with marking Isaia Toeava at inside centre, where he will partner new captain Jaque Fourie.

‘Deon’s there because he’s a very strong defender,’ said Eloff, ‘and that’s why we picked him ahead of Jannie [Boshoff] and Earl [Rose]. That doesn’t mean we have a defensive mindset however, we will attack them.’

Labuschagne didn’t return after half-time in the Chiefs fixture and is replaced by Gerhard Mostert in the second row.

Loose forward Robert Kruger could make his debut off the bench, while Boshoff and Franco van der Merwe return to the 22 after periods of absence.

Lions – 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Shandré Frolick, 13 Jaque Fourie (c), 12 Deon van Rensburg, 11 Henno Mentz, 10 Andre Pretorius, 9 Chris Jonck, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Ernst Joubert, 6 Todd Clever, 5 Gerhard Mostert, 4 Anton van Zyl, 3 Gert Muller, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Subs: 16 Hans van Dyk, 17 Lawrence Sephaka, 18 Franco van der Merwe, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Earl Rose, 22 Jannie Boshoff.