18th Mar 2021
The Lions are known for backing their youngsters that have continuously come through their ranks and Ivan Van Rooyen clearly did not waver from this viewpoint.
Emirates Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen has remained firm on the succession plan of the Lions Rugby Company by putting his faith in the blend of youth and experience for the first round of the Rainbow Cup SA that kicks off this weekend at Loftus Versfeld against the Vodacom Bulls.
The Lions are known for backing their youngsters that have continuously come through their ranks and Van Rooyen clearly did not waver from this viewpoint.
This sees a front row brimming with experience in Sti Sithole and Jannie du Plessis with up-and-coming hooker PJ Botha in the middle.
The talents of the exciting young number eight Francke Horn has already been on display earlier in the season. There are high hopes that he can take that performance to the next level against the best that South Africa has to offer. There will no-doubt be hope in him not only carrying or making a nuisance of himself at the breakdown, but he will be constantly in the eye of the big Bulls ball carriers.
Coming off the bench the Tshituka brothers might share the field and there is the added bonus of Morné van den Berg who is sure to take the energy level up a notch.
“The first round of the north leg was extremely exciting and a great showcase of high-quality rugby. We are excited about the start of the Rainbow Cup SA this weekend. It’s great for the fans to see the future of southern and northern hemisphere rugby,” said Van Rooyen.
The European sides have set a benchmark of where the local teams want to be with some of those teams already catching the eye in their first encounters this past weekend.
Kick-off is at 19:00.
Emirates Lions: Tiaan Swanepoel; Stean Pienaar, Wandisile Simelane, Dan Kriel (capt), Courtnall Skosan; Fred Zeilinga, André Warner; Francke Horn, Vincent Tshituka, MJ Pelser, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Ruben Schoeman, Jannie du Plessis, PJ Botha, Sti Sithole. Replacements: Morné Brandon, Nathan McBeth, Carlu Sadie, Reinhard Nothnagel, Emmanuel Tshituka, Sibusiso Sangweni, Morné van den Berg, EW Viljoen.