Lions bring out the 'A' team, as Faf departs

Thu, 18 May 2017 11:41

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Lions will field their best front row when they host the Bulls in a trans-Jukskei derby at Ellis Park on Saturday.

It is the Lions' first game back home, after their historic unbeaten Australian tour in which they collected 14 out of a possible 15 points - beating the Western Force, Rebels and Brumbies along the way.

Coach Johan Ackermann made just three changes - all in the front row.

Jacques van Rooyen, Malcolm Marx and Ruan Dreyer start this week - with Armand van der Merwe, Corné Fourie and Johannes Jonker on the bench.

* Meanwhile the Lions Rugby Company confirmed that they have released discarded Springbok scrumhalf Francois de Klerk to the Sale Sharks.

De Klerk will join the English Premiership club at the end of the 2017 Super Rugby season.

"Francois [De Klerk] is still very important to our Super Rugby campaign, as he plays a vital role in our squad system," Rudolf Straeuli, CEO of the Lions Rugby Company, said.

"The player made a personal request to be released to further his career abroad and we felt we couldn't stand in his way while we also couldn't match the offer he received."

De Klerk joined the Lions in 2014 and has 58 Super Rugby appearances under his belt - which includes 12 tries (60 points).

De Klerk was full of praise for the Lions and his time with the union.

"I have loved every minute with the Lions and will miss the camaraderie with my brothers," the scrumhalf said.

"It is a special bunch of players that are more than teammates to me and is thankful for the opportunity the Lions gave me.

"I am fully committed to the Super Rugby campaign for the rest of the season."

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Ruan Ackermann, 6 Albertus Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Anthony Volmink.

Date: Saturday, May 20
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Lesego Legoete (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 30 June 2017
Sharks v Bulls 17h00 Kings Park, Durban
Sat, 01 July 2017
Jaguares v Kings 23h05 Buenos Aires
New Zealand v B&I Lions 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Cheetahs v Stormers 13h05 Bloemfontein
Lions v Sunwolves 15h15 Ellis Park Stadium
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 13 6 0 7 33
Waratahs 13 4 0 9 19
Force 13 4 0 9 17
Reds 13 3 0 10 17
Rebels 13 1 1 11 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 14 14 0 0 63
Hurricanes 14 11 0 3 54
Chiefs 14 11 1 2 53
Highlanders 14 10 0 4 46
Blues 14 7 1 6 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 30
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19