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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Lions name strong pack in a bid to get a win against Griffons

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Johannesburg – The Lions will hope to finally kickstart their Currie Cup campaign on Friday when they host the Griffons at Emirates Airline Park (kick-off 3pm).

The Joburgers are currently winless in the elite domestic tournament, having lost both their opening matches this past month. In losing to the Western Province and defending champions, however, they have managed to collect an invaluable three log points and shown some fight.

They are perhaps a win away in the Cup competition from making it click and earning some much-needed confidence to build towards a successful campaign. Despite the United Rugby Championship squad also being in action this weekend, coach Mzwakhe Nkosi has been able to pick an intimidating team.

The pack, in particular, has a solid look about it that can lay a winning foundation. It sports such names as Sti Sithole, Jaco Visagie, Ruan Smith, Darrien Landsberg, Sibusiso Sangweni, Ruhan Straeuli and Jarod Cairns – all of whom have franchise-level experience.

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Off-the-field, there have been a slew of problems that have stifled the union but there must be some positivity in the fact that the team can field such a unit when its first-choice players are away. The backline has a more youthful appearance to it in experience, but if the pack dominates the visitors, they could find themselves with the freedom of the park.

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The Griffons have been valiant in their appearances thus far, but also go into the match winless after losses to the Sharks and Free State Cheetahs.

Fidelity ADT Lions: 15 Tiaan Swanepoel, 14 Boldwin Hansen, 13 Stean Pienaar, 12 Tyler Bocks, 11 Ilunga Mukendi, 10 Vaughen Isaacs, 9 Nico Steyn, 8 Jarod Cairns, 7 Ruhan Straeuli, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Darrien Landsberg, 4 Raynard Roets, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Jaco Visagie (capt), 1 Sti Sithole

Replacements: 16 Micaheal van Vuuren, 17 Morgan Naude, 18 Kobous Bezuidenhout, 19 PJ Steenkamp, 20 Pieter Jansen van Vuren, 21 Renzo du Plessis, 22 Kelly Mpeku, 23 Jurich Claasens


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