New-look Lions to face Russia

Johan Ackermann has named 11 Lions debutants in his match 23 to face Russia at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Lock Franco Mostert, flank Warwick Tecklenburg, flyhalf Lionel Cronje and centre pairing Harold Vorster and Stokkies Hanekom will start for their new franchise, while prop Jacques van Rooyen, lock Hugo Kloppers, loose forward Claude Tshibidi and utility backs Marnitz Boshoff and Ruhan Nel should make their first appearances off the bench.

Russia (20th on the IRB rankings) are the Lions’ first opponents in the Lions Challenge, which they hope will prepare them for the Super Rugby promotion-relegation play-offs in July and August.

Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (c).
Subs: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Jacques Kotze, 19 Hugo Kloppers, 20 Claude Tshibidi, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Ruhan Nel.