Royal XV target upset

The Royal XV believe they’re well equipped to beat the Lions in next week’s tour opener in Rustenburg.

Coach Chaka Willemse said on Monday his team are not preparing to give the Lions’ a gentle warm-up. The Royal XV aim to give the tourists a shock by recording a win.

Out of all the provincial and invitational games, the first should be one of the easier fixtures for Ian McGeechan’s Lions. The Royal XV had the option of including several Blue Bulls players, but feel they have enough quality to do the improbable.

‘We had the right to call on players from the Blue Bulls if needed to bolster the team in positions where we felt the side may have a problem, but found it wouldn’t be necessary,’ said Willemse. ‘We are confident we have enough players of the required quality.

‘In selecting the side, we took into consideration the playing style of the previous Lions under coach Ian McGeechan and the type of players he had selected for this tour. We are confident that we have a competitive side to face the Lions.

‘We’re not here just to provide opposition, we will give them all we’ve got and we’ll try and win.’

The match will be staged at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on 30 May. Wilhelm Koch, a former Super 14 flanker for the Lions, will lead the team.

The Royal XV squad:
Backs: Russell Jeacocks (Leopards), Colin Lloyd (Leopards), Egon Seconds (Griquas), Bjorn Basson (Griquas), Deon van Rensburg (Leopards), Basil de Doncker (Leopards), Hanno Coetzee (Griquas), Riaan Viljoen (Griquas), Naas Olivier (Griquas), Michael Bondesio (Leopards), Jacques Coetzee (Pumas), Sarel Pretorius (Griquas).
Forwards: Jonathan Mokoena (Griquas), RW Kember (Leopards), Devon Raubenheimer (Griquas), Wilhelm Koch (Leopards, captain), Jaco Bouwer (Pumas), Rynard Landman (Leopards), Rudi Mathee (Leopards), Jacques Lombard (Griquas), Bees Roux (Griquas), Albertus Buckle (Griquas), Dawie Steyn (Pumas), Stef Roberts (Griquas), Rayno Barnes (Griquas), Hannes Franklin (Pumas), Pellow van der Westhuizen (Leopards).