Clever, Wepener benched

Hooker Hans van Dyk and flank Robert Kruger have been drafted into the Lions’ team to face the Force on Friday.

Coach Loffie Eloff promised all his touring party a start and for this reason Willie Wepener and Todd Clever are relegated to the bench. Van Dyk and Kruger will both get their first starts of the season and in the latter’s case the first of his Super Rugby career.

Kruger has undoubted potential but will need to be more composed after last week’s blatant late tackle led to a yellow card after he’d been on the field barely minutes. The 20-year-old will also have a tough initiation in trying to deal with Force fetcher David Pocock at the breakdown.

JC Janse van Rensburg starts at loosehead in the place of injured Heinke van der Merwe as Lawrence Sephaka stays at tighthead. Gert Muller is elevated to the bench.

The Lions take on their hosts, who will have to win at Subiaco Oval to stay in play-off contention, without a quartet of injured senior players in Van der Merwe, Baywatch Grobbelaar, Jaque Fourie and Louis Ludik.

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