Re­vamped Lions squad to face Chee­tahs to­day

Weekend Witness - - Sport -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — Lions coach Jo­han Ack­er­mann has spruced up his team with nine changes to the start­ing line-up for the Lions’ Chal­lenge match against the Chee­tahs at El­lis Park to­day.

The Chee­tahs are bring­ing an in­jury-hit squad fea­tur­ing fringe play­ers to Jo­han­nes­burg and Ack­er­mann will also be field­ing sev­eral new faces for the Lions’ sec­ond game of the sea­son, fol­low­ing their 51-13 vic­tory over Rus­sia last week­end.

Cen­tre Al­wyn Hol­len­bach, who has been men­tioned for higher hon­ours, has re­turned from in­jury and will pro­vide cap­tain JC Janse van Rens­burg with ex­pe­ri­enced sup­port along­side loose for­ward Der­ick Min­nie.

Swys du Toit has also been in­tro­duced at hooker, with Martin Bezuiden­hout, the sub­ject of loan spec­u­la­tion in Cape Town, out of the squad.

While the Lions did con­firm they are in ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Storm­ers over lend­ing the fron­tranker to them, Ack­er­mann said the Orkney-born 23-year-old would have been rested this week­end any­way.

Janse van Rens­burg said he ex­pected a tough en­counter against the Chee­tahs. “There’s al­ways ex­tra com­pe­ti­tion against the South African teams, it will be like a derby, hard and tough. The Chee­tahs are in the same boat as us, their tight five will also be out to prove them­selves, so it will be as tough as al­ways up front.” — Sapa. Lions team: Mar­nitz Boshoff, Ruhan Nel, Stokkies Hanekom, Al­wyn Hol­len­bach, An­thony Volmink, Guy Cronje, Ross Cronje, Wil­lie Britz, Der­ick Min­nie, Jaco Kriel, Hugo Klop­pers, Gavin An­nan­dale, Ruan Dreyer, Swys du Toit, JC Janse van Rens­burg. Re­place­ments: Rob­bie Coet­zee, Jacques van Rooyen, JJ Breet, Claude Tshibidi, Michael Bon­de­sio, Lionel Cronje, An­dries Coet­zee.

PHOTO: AP

Ivory Coast skip­per Di­dier Drogba (pic­tured) leads a side that has a few faults, ac­cord­ing to Tu­nisian coach Sami Tra­belsi.

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