Lions stars get some game time
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: With the June International Test series halting Super Rugby proceedings, the Golden Lions have opted to use the National Provincial Challenge to provide much-needed game time for their Super Rugby players.
While Lions regular Super Rugby captain Warren Whiteley - along with nine players in Springboks squad and four in the SA A team - get plenty of game time at a high level, the other Super Rugby players will try to maintain they form by participating in the NPC.
From the Lions 2017 Super Rugby squad, 17 players have been included in the Golden Lions 22-man squad which will face the Falcons on Friday.
The 17 players include the likes of centre Jacques Nel, wings Madosh Tambwe and Anthony Volmink; the lock pairing of Robert Kruger and Lourens Erasmus. And the strong front row pack of Corne Fourie, Akker van der Merwe and Johannes Jonker.
Springbok discard Francois de Klerk, who is leaving the franchice for Sale Sharks on a three-year deal at the end of the season, has been named on the bench, while Dillon Smit don the number 9 jersey.
The only survivor of last week's NPC starting line-up is Jano Venter.
Golden Lions head coach Bafana Nhleko has welcomed the Super Rugby boost and is more than happy to provide the platform for the Super Rugby players.
The coach states having them in the side, give the Golden Lions team more depth and regular players time to rest. "We had a long trip from Namibia and got back late on Sunday.
"Having put on miles on the legs through scoring some tries and playing a high-intensity game we gave some players off," Nhleko said.
"We respect the Falcons and the challenge they will present and picked some fresh guys for this encounter,"