Lions: strong line-up for Argentinians

2011-02-09 00:00

THE MTN Lions have named a squad as close to their strongest line-up as possible for their pre-season friendly against Argentine tourists Tucuman at Ellis Park tonight.

Coach John Mitchell will finally unleash his New Zealand import, James Kamana, while Springbok playmaker Elton Jantjies will return to action after missing the Neo Africa Tri-Series to concentrate on his conditioning.

Tucuman are infamous in South African rugby history, especially after the brawl that the Springboks had to fight their way out of in 1993 in a midweek game, but there are hopes that the Argentineans can change South African perceptions with a decent performance on the field.

For once the Lions team look to be a dangerous and well-balanced attacking machine, with Lionel Mapoe continuing his comeback on the right wing while the tried-and-tested combination of Waylon Murray and Doppies la Grange fill the midfield.

Jantjies is partnered by Jano Vermaak at halfback, while the forward pack is the same one that demolished the Sharks in Cape Town last week, except for the re-introduction of Bok hooker Bandise Maku.

Interestingly, the move of Wikus van Heerden to lock seems to be one that has inspired confidence, as he is listed as reserve lock on the bench alongside last season’s captain, Cobus Grobbelaar, who seems to be struggling to make the starting team at the moment.

Lions: James Kamana, Lionel Mapoe, Waylon Murray, Doppies la Grange, Michael Killian, Elton Jantjies, Jano Vermaak, Warren Whiteley, Joshua Strauss, Derick Minnie, Franco van der Merwe, George Earle, Patric Cilliers, Bandise Maku, JC Janse van Rensburg

Reserves: Martin Bezuidenhout, Kevin Buys, Wikus van Heerden, Cobus Grobbelaar, Rory Kockott, Burton Francis, Jaco Taute, David Bulbring, Michael Rhodes, Jannie Boshoff.

— SuperSport.com.

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