The Lions have confirmed their 35-man squad for the Lions Challenge series which kicks off against the Russian national side in Johannesburg this weekend.
With many of the Lions' top players currently on loan to different Super Rugby franchises coach Johan Ackermann has called on a number of exciting young talents who will fall under the leadership of experienced skipper JC Janse van Rensburg.
There will be a big focus on new recruits such as former SA Under-20 flyhalf Lionel Cronje and Varsity Cup stars Franco Mostert, JJ Breet, Hugo Kloppers, Gavin Annandale and Warwick Tecklenburg, although Van Rensburg will also be ably supported by a solid core of experienced players.
Headlining that group is Springbok veteran prop CJ van der Linde, who has remained with the Lions along with 2011 Currie Cup-winners Michael Bondesio, Alwyn Hollenbach, Derick Minnie, Deon van Rensburg and Warren Whiteley, whilst players such as Willie Britz, Andries Coetzee, Deon Helberg, Jaco Kriel and Anthony Volmink will be intent on building on promising performances last year.
Lions squad: Gavin Annandale, Martin Bezuidenhout, Michael Bondesio, Marnitz Boshoff, JJ Breet, Willie Britz, Andries Coetzee, Robbie Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Guy Cronje, Lionel Cronje, Ross Cronje, Dylan des Fountain, Ruan Dreyer, Swys du Toit, Stokkies Hanekom, Deon Helberg, Alwyn Hollenbach, JC Janse van Rensburg, Hugo Kloppers, Jacques Kotze, Jaco Kriel, Derick Minnie, Franco Mostert, Jacques Nel, Ruhan Nel, Hendrik Roodt, Warwick Tecklenburg, Claude Tshibidi, CJ van der Linde, Deon van Rensburg, Jacques van Rooyen, Anthony Volmink, Harold Vorster, Warren Whiteley.