Swys: we want to be tested
CURRIE CUP: SPRINGBOK BOOST FOR THE GOLDEN LIONS’ DO-OR-DIE BATTLE
Cheetahs bolster their side with host of Pro14 players.
Golden Lions coach Swys de Bruin said yesterday he would actually prefer to face the strongest possible Cheetahs squad in tomorrow’s Currie Cup decider at Ellis Park.
Naming eight changes, De Bruin, who named three of his five returning Springboks in his starting line-up, and his troops are fully aware that the “winner takes all” scenario would be at play in order to book a semifinal spot.
“We actually don’t want to be facing a B or C side the way they have been playing lately, but rather their best available team,” said De Bruin.
“I just don’t know what they will do if they get through to the Currie Cup final because then the Pro14 resumes, will they play a weakened side in a final?”
De Bruin has included Bok fullback Andries Coetzee, wing Courtnall Skosan and scrumhalf Ross Cronje in his run-on team, while naming bulldozing hooker Malcolm Marx on the bench.
The only Bok not named is tighthead prop Ruan Dreyer who is nursing a slight rib injury.
“We had the choice of injecting him, but decided we rather didn’t want to risk him,” said De Bruin.
“In naming Malcolm on the bench the beauty of the front row is that you can have him up or bring him back.”
At hooker Robbie Coetzee returns, while flankers Robert Kruger and Hacjivah Dayimani are on the bench.
In other changes, Jaco van der Walt has been moved from fullback to flyhalf, Aphiwe Dyantyi is shifted from left wing to right wing, while tighthead prop Jacobie Adriaanse returns after pulling out at the 11th hour on Sunday with a stomach bug.
“Jaco has been great for us and it’s a tactical move to switch him back to flyhalf with Ashlon Davids providing great cover,” he said.
De Bruin said there was huge enthusiasm this week when they welcomed their Boks back.
“They might be Boks but they are Lions. It was like welcoming back a brother,” said De Bruin.
“We are very proud of our Boks and also very happy they will be available should we reach the play-offs.”
The Cheetahs named their strongest line-up while recalling a host of their Pro14 players in a team where hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld takes over the leadership from flank Chris Dry.
HEARTENING. The inclusion of scrumhalf Ross Cronje has bolstered the Lions ahead of their clash with the Cheetahs.