SUPER RUGBY PREVIEW : Lions vs Stormers

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Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has named the exact same match-day 23 for Saturday’s clash with the Stormers.

Jaco Kriel is named in the starting XV despite taking a knock to his arm, with the flanker due a fitness test on Friday.

“We are very happy that we can pick the same side as last week,” Ackermann said.

“We opted for continuity as it brings stability amongst other things. Thus we decided not the use our rotational system this week.”

The Lions lead the Africa Two Conference by two points after four wins from their six matches so far this year.

Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck has made four changes to his starting side to face the Lions in their Super Rugby clash in Johannesburg.

The Stormers travel north in search of their third consecutive away win of this season, following victories in Bloemfontein and Buenos Aires, and their sixth victory from their seventh game overall.

Two of the changes are rotational, with loosehead prop JC Janse van Rensburg trading places with Oli Kebble who starts on the replacements bench, whilst in the loose trio Nizaam Carr comes back into the starting line-up at openside flank and Siya Kolisi is named amongst the replacements this week.

Scrum-half Nic Groom returns from a minor knee injury which kept him out of action against the Sunwolves, and hooker Bongi Mbonambi gets another chance to start as Scarra Ntubeni has been ruled out with a hamstring niggle.

Fleck said that his team are determined to build on the winning momentum they have gathered so far this season.

“We know that every game is an opportunity to improve on what we have done before, and that is our aim up in Johannesburg,” he revealed.

“We have prepared well for this match and the players are focused on giving their best for 80 minutes this weekend.”

The Teams :

Lions: 15 Jaco van der Walt, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylon Smith
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Andries Coetzee

Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (cc), 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Replacements: 16 Mike Willemse, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe (cc), 19 Rynhardt Elstadt, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Damian de Allende, 23 Huw Jones

Date: Saturday, April 16
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 19:15 local (17:15 GMT)
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant Referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Willie Vos


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